Small businesses are the beating heart of many small to medium-sized towns in the U.S. (and even a few large cities!) Nearly all businesses start out small, and most stay that way to better serve their communities. There are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy. Small businesses comprise 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses, about 99.7 percent of their employment, and about 44 percent of all U.S. economic activity.
“Not only do small businesses provide more jobs, but they also bring careers and opportunities,” wrote Martin Rowinski for Forbes. “Successful small businesses put money back into their local community through paychecks and taxes, which can support the creation of new small businesses and improve local public services. No matter how small it starts—one, two, five, 10 employees—within that town, the city, or the county, your small business creates new economies where once there was nothing.”
During a time of a global pandemic, it’s never been more important to support the small companies and businesses that serve community needs.
So how can you better support these regional interests that are the lifeblood of your town or city? There are a number of ways!
Buy local. If you can, skip the giant big box store or the Amazon purchase and see if a small shop in your community can’t meet your needs. Even if they don’t have what you need today, small businesses can be more flexible than large stores, and they might be willing to order and stock what you need. This way, you’re keeping the transaction – and your dollars – inside your local community.
Shop farmer’s markets. Chances are that your area has a seasonal farmer’s and craft market on the weekend during the warmer seasons. There is no better way to access local produce and dairy products, meats and products like local honey, regionally produced gifts, and household goods. Chances are that the quality of these products will be far superior to anything you can find in your supermarket.
Buy gift cards. When it comes time to holiday shop or send a birthday gift, consider buying gift cards from local businesses (independent stores or restaurants) for your friends and family members. Not only will the gift card be appreciated, but it’s a great way to help a local business out by spreading the word of its offerings to others.
Try to skip the third parties. While restaurant delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash met a critical need during the pandemic lockdown, for example, these delivery services often cut into the profit margin for local restaurants. Instead, order your takeout directly from the restaurant, which will allow it to keep 100 percent of the cost of your order.
Leave good reviews. Don’t forget…once your transaction at a local business is done, if you’re pleased, leave a good review everywhere you can. Local businesses thrive on these organic positive reviews, and they encourage others to patronize the businesses.
Use local services. It’s not just about goods and restaurants. Local services such as accountants and insurance agents know your community better than anyone. In Connecticut, Petruzelo Insurance offers personal and business policies that fit the needs of you and your community. Call us at 866-479-3327 or visit our website for more information.