Have you ever considered the importance of small business to local communities?
While small businesses generate new jobs and employ more than half of the work force, they’re also beneficial to the local community. Here are some examples how small businesses make a profound local impact:
Take a stroll down Main Street and you’ll likely notice that your community has its own unique character and charm. From the mom-and-pop shop, the local CPA and dog grooming business, to an antiques emporium, coffee shop, yoga studio and beyond, small businesses contribute to a community’s uniqueness. Many municipalities and tourism boards have prioritized preserving the community’s unique character – transforming that character into an advantage.
Local Community Involvement
Small business owners are an integral part of the communities in which they live and work. Thus, they tend to be aware of how their decisions may impact their neighbours. In addition, local small business owners tend to be involved in the community. For instance, they may sponsor local Little League teams, donate to the city’s homeless shelter, or participate in community charity events.
Local Community Health
In addition to contributing to the local community’s unique identity and being involved locally, small business owners help to build a sense of community. Their businesses tend to be people businesses. Small business owners tend to build relationships with their customers, knowing many of them by name. Many small business owners band together, forming casual or formal relationships, such as a merchant’s association. As foot traffic to one business increases, other nearby businesses may benefit through increased exposure or referrals.
Pedestrian-friendly town centres have their own unique vibe — and potential environmental benefits. For example, small businesses clustered near residential areas may reduce automobile use, resulting in better air quality and less urban sprawl.
Helping the Local Economy
When local residents shop at small businesses within their communities, their dollars stay within the local community’s economy, helping to improve their community as a result. Likewise, local small businesses tend to buy locally as well, pumping more of their profits back into the community than their chain store counterparts.
Small Businesses Create Local Jobs
Small businesses are job creators, and most of those jobs are local jobs. Rather than having to commute to another city, employees work closer to home. Not only does this reduce traffic congestion, supporting local businesses also supports your fellow community members who work at them.
Innovation and Local Competition
Small businesses, like any business, need to stand out from the crowd in order to survive. They must serve a legitimate need in the local community and do it better than their competitors. Having multiple small businesses all striving to be unique, innovative, and better can result in a healthy marketplace and well-served consumers.
Diverse, Locally Made Products and Services
One-of-a-kind and locally made products can attract customers to a community, bolstering tourism and contributing to the local vibe. Locally made goods are also attractive to residents who want to minimize their carbon footprints, support local businesses, and keep their tax dollars close to home.
These are just a few examples that describe the importance of small business to our local communities. Supporting small businesses isn’t just about shopping small, small businesses benefit our local economy, personal relationships and help build the community. So next time you’re considering heading to a large chain store, remember local matters.