November 17, 2023 3:58am
Celebrate Small Business Saturday
What is Small Business Saturday? Situated between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, part of the Shop Small Movement, celebrates the local businesses that make our community unique and Keep Louisville Weird!
Why celebrate local businesses? I’ve celebrated small business all my life and as the Director of the Louisville Small Business Development Center, my team and I work hard to support our local small businesses. Why? Our local merchants are the backbone of our local economy and, more importantly, $68 out of every $100 spent with a local merchant stays in the community as opposed to $43 for a large retailer. These are dollars that get circulated and reinvested in our community.
Here are ten reasons why these businesses are vital to both local and national economies:
1. Job Creation: Small businesses are one of the largest job creators in the country. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses have generated 65% of net new jobs since 1995. These jobs not only provide income but also help build vibrant communities.
2. Innovation: Small businesses are often incubators for innovation. They are nimbler and can adapt quickly to changing market conditions. This agility allows them to pioneer new products, services, and business models, driving economic growth and competitiveness.
3. Economic Resilience: Small businesses contribute to the resilience of local economies. During economic downturns, regions with a higher proportion of small, locally owned businesses tend to recover more quickly. They are often more invested in the community’s long-term prosperity and are less likely to pull out during hard times.
4. Wealth Distribution: Locally owned businesses keep money in the community. A greater portion of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the locality, supporting other businesses and contributing to local tax revenues. This multiplier effect strengthens the local economy and supports public services.
5. Local Decision-making: Small businesses have local owners who live in and care about their communities. They are more likely to make decisions that consider the impact on the community.
6. Diverse Products and Services: Small businesses often offer unique, locally produced or curated products and services that distinguish their communities and attract tourists. This diversity enhances consumer choice and can even preserve local culture and identity.
7. Community Identity and Pride: Small businesses contribute to a sense of place and community identity. From the corner bakery to the local bookstore, these businesses create unique experiences and foster community pride.
8. Environmental Sustainability: Small, locally owned businesses often have smaller carbon footprints than larger companies. They typically set up shop in town or city centers, as opposed to developing on the fringe, reducing urban sprawl, habitat loss, and pollution.
9. Personalized Customer Service: Small businesses are known for their personalized customer service. They build strong relationships with their customers, leading to higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.
10. Support for Local Nonprofits: Small businesses are more likely to support local charities, schools, and events, contributing to community cohesion and wellbeing.
In conclusion, small, locally owned businesses play a crucial role in our economy. They generate jobs, foster innovation, contribute to economic resilience, and create vibrant, distinctive communities. Supporting these businesses is not just about shopping local; it’s an investment in the health and wealth of our communities and our nation.
Dave Oetken is the Director of the Louisville Small Business Development Center which provides free SBA & commercial loan packaging, business coaching and lender introductions.
Do you have any locally-owned small businesses that you’d like to celebrate? Send him a note at [email protected]! If you’d like to schedule a Zoom meeting with me to help work on your business, find some time for us: Dave’s Calendar.