Talking about the importance of the small businesses in our community to the crowd that reads this blog feels a lot like preaching to the choir. As small business owners, you understand the vital role you and your Main Street colleagues play in keeping communities alive and thriving.
Living out west, I spend a lot of time off the beaten path traveling through small towns from the seat of my motorcycle and have noticed that those communities with a healthy and thriving small business district are the cities and towns that seem to be strong and growing. Those with a Main Street that’s boarded up seem to be withering away. I’m convinced that Main Street represents the lifeblood of every city and town across the country.
Of course, you know that.
Supporting Small Business at the Cash Register
Although you may be a small business owner, you’re also a consumer. You have choices regarding where you shop, what you buy, and whether or not you shop in the Main Street businesses where you live. May I suggest you spend a little of your hard-earned money on Saturday patronizing the small, locally-owned businesses in your community?
Avoid the chain restaurant on Saturday and visit (or DoorDash) the local restaurant down the street, shop at a local merchant, and don’t spend all your money at the big box store or online. There’s nothing wrong with the big box store, but it’s the local businesses that support the high school football team, the charity coat drives, and the local food pantries.
Did you realize the support you and your small businesses peers give to local non-profit organizations is roughly 250 percent more than the support they get from large national chains?
I get it. It’s hard to walk away from the big discounts offered on Black Friday or Cyber Monday to support local merchants. Yet, it just makes sense for small business owners to invest in the success of their small business peers by doing a percentage of their shopping with the locally-owned businesses in their communities.
Patronizing Locally-Owned Small Businesses Keeps Money in Your Community
Something else you might already know, but is worth repeating, for every $100 you spend at a locally-owned business, $68 dollars gets recirculated in the community compared to only $43 if you shop at a national chain.
What’s more, small businesses (businesses like yours) are where the jobs in our country are really created. Two out of every three net new jobs created in the United States are created in small businesses. And, roughly half of our friends and family work in those businesses. Spending money locally keeps profits local and strengthens the community with jobs and investment.
Supporting Small Business in the Time of COVID
If you’re limiting the amount of time you spend outside the home during the winter months as the pandemic seems to continue through the holiday season, you can still support local businesses virtually, with a gift card or a delivery service. Many small businesses are offering curb-side pick-up, and other creative tactics, to help their customers during this time. You’re likely doing the same.
At Nav, we try to support locally-owned restaurants for catered lunches (and other small businesses) throughout the year, but since we’re all working from home right now, it’s a little harder. I received a gift card just yesterday with a note encouraging me to spend it at a small business. I don’t know if I was more pleased with the gift card or that I work with a company willing to put their money where their mouth is by giving all its employees a little extra cash and a nudge to spend it with a locally-owned business in their community. I take it back, I know what really pleased me. Way to go Nav.
As a small business owner, I hope you’ll think of ways you can support your colleagues this season and that you’ll share your successes from Small Business Saturday with us.