There's a certain glamour when someone says they own a business. The notion of bags of cash, lots of vacations and a flexible schedule. While that may be the ultimate goal for a business owner, this is far from reality. Most small business owners work crazy hours (late nights, early mornings, holidays...) and carry a tremendous responsibility for not only themselves and their families, but also their employees who depend on them for their livelihood.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community (and every community, for that matter). It's important to support them, thank them and celebrate them. Here are seven reasons why you should thank a local business TODAY!
- Create Jobs: When you hire locally, you are ensuring that our family members, friends and neighbors can make a living. When someone has the resources to live comfortably, they are able to spend money in our community. This is a beautiful circle that helps communities thrive.
- Uniqueness and Charm: There's nothing like walking into a local restaurant or retailer. Their products, services and personality add to the local landscape and create a destination not only for residents, but the region and tourists as well.
- Locally Made Products and Services: There's something so satisfying and inspiring about purchasing a locally produced product or service. If you support Made in America, you can't get more authentic than shopping at a mom and pop shop in your city or town.
- Community Identity: Local businesses play a huge role in a community's identity. They serve as landmarks, meeting places and a significant source of community pride.
- Local Support: Local businesses sponsor youth baseball teams, donate gift certificates to community nonprofits and host fundraisers. They chose your community to open their business (and invest their time and money) so they inherently care and want to make your town or city a great place to live, work and play.
- Involvement in the Community: Local business owners and their employees sit on boards, help plan community events and festivals and belong to the local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club and Business Association. They are invested and involved.
- Tax Money: Business owners pay taxes to the city or town in which they are located. This creates a bigger tax base that will benefit your community.
When you support a local business, it's a chain reaction. Perhaps you go to a gift shop to pick up a card and a unique present. Next door is a restaurant. You stop in for lunch. While you're at both places, you snap a few pictures and put them on Instagram. In the matter of an hour or two, you've spent your hard earned money at two local businesses AND you promoted them through your Instagram post. YOU created a chain reaction. What a beautiful thing if we all did that.
So please, thank a small business today. During your lunch break, pick up a sandwich or salad and make a point to say hello to the restaurant owner. On the way home, pop into a retailer and tell them how important they are to the community. Post on Social Media tagging your favorite local businesses (or better yet, go to their Facebook page and leave them a review). Celebrate entrepreneurship and those who follow their dreams.
What are your favorite local businesses? What makes them so special?