Shop local season is nearly here which is one reason among many to have a list in your back pocket of why people should support small businesses. From providing services to the community, to job creation, small businesses make a big impact. They are the backdrop of many of our social interactions and we encounter them on nearly a daily basis, whether that’s picking your kids up from day care, meeting friends for happy hour or working with a contractor to remodel your roof.
Here are just a few reasons why people should support your small business:
– Small businesses bring people together. People love their local bodegas, coffee shops and pubs. They help form the identity of a place and serve as public spaces to convene and connect with neighbors.
– Small businesses keep money circulating in the community. This helps small towns and cities be thriving and vibrant places to live, work and visit.
– Small businesses provide specialized services to the community. From contractors, to pet care companies, small businesses find success within their niche and patrons are thankful for their expertise.
– Small businesses are inspiring. People don’t start small businesses out of nowhere. For many people it’s out of necessity. Either they saw a need in their community, or they didn’t fit into the 9 to 5 mold and needed to work for themselves.
– According to the SBA, small businesses create 2 out of 3 net new private-sector jobs. Job creation is a big deal, especially when it’s a local small business hiring local talent.
What do small business owners have to say? Since October is Women in Business month, we’ve focused on the female entrepreneur perspective
– “When you said it takes a village [to start a business], it really resonated, because it totally does. We worked with so many people to pull off this project. We probably pulled in every single friend and every neighbor and every ounce of good will that we had stored up in this town and really put it to work.” – Sophie Thompson, co-founder of Hey Love, a cocktail lounge in Portland.
– “One of the pieces I love the most is programming – designing sessions for our conference, coming up with new offerings that might be of benefit to our community. I love hearing the stories of how our community helps each other.” Julie Fry of Business Among Moms.
“I really enjoy being able to be super creative and use different aspects of who I am. If I want to cook one day, I can do that, or if I want to do marketing, or if I want to do HR, or I want to do payroll or bookkeeping. It’s a very well rounded kind of career to have for me.” – Monica Kinsman, founder of Heart Beet.
– “It’s a lot of responsibility – all of the components of the business – the students and the staff. And because we have such close relationships, I really feel that responsibility. When I make a decision, I’m not making it just for myself. I’m considering who it might affect. And the bigger the business gets, and the more successful it gets, the more I feel that responsibility. I want to make sure everyone we reach feels taken care of.” – Alyssa Taubin, founding owner of Positive Spin Pole Dance Fitness.
– “Entrepreneurs have 10,000 ideas because that’s how we think. Executing on one or two of those ideas is sometimes hard for us to do because we keep thinking of 12 more ideas – so my biggest successes have come when I’ve slowed down, focused, decided what I’m going to do and then see it through to completion. For every one thing I have said yes to, I had to say no to 100 other things. We can get ourselves caught and overwhelmed, and a lot of times it’s our own doing.” Lynn Lindbergh, founder of Couch to Active.
Looking for data about job creation amongst female small business owners? Check out the US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Facts: Spotlight on Women-Owned Employer Businesses.
Trying to find training and financing opportunities specifically for female entrepreneurs? Visit the Washington Women’s Business Center.
About the author
Megan V. Torgerson
Megan is the founder of the storytelling initiative, Reframing Rural. She is an MFA candidate at Seattle University and holds a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Montana. Megan grew up on a farm and ranch in Montana and is inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of rural communities.