The numbers don’t lie. Locally owned businesses may be classified as “small,” but they have a big impact on the national economy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Employment Dynamics report, small businesses created 10.5 million net new jobs between 2000 and 2019, accounting for 65.1 percent of net new jobs created since 2000 in the United States. The Government of Canada reports that the number of small businesses in Canada in 2020 was far greater than the number of medium and large businesses, accounting for 97.9 percent of all the businesses in the country.
Supporting locally owned businesses is a great way to support a neighbor, but that’s not the only attraction. Here are several reasons to shop small.
The feel-good factor
Doing for others certainly has an impact on the person on the receiving end, but also benefits the do-gooders. A November 2020 survey by Union Bank found that 72 percent of Americans said supporting small businesses was more important than getting the best deals. That may be due to the feeling of helping out a fellow neighbor.
Create job opportunities
Shopping at small businesses keeps those establishments afloat, and it also keeps their employees afloat. Small businesses are the largest employers in the United States. That’s also true in Canada, where 68.8 percent of the total labor force works for a small business. A person may never know when he or she — or a relative — will need a job. Keeping small businesses viable provides a strong job market for locals.
Keep more money in the community
The Small Business Administration says $48 out of every $100 spent at a small business stays in the community. Spend the same $100 at a national retailer and only $14 stays.
Enjoy a more local flavor
National retailers and other businesses follow a global business model that may not allow for much customization, but small businesses can provide products or services that relate directly to the needs of the communities they serve. These same small businesses also may be more inclined to work with local vendors and start-ups than national companies that have global supply chains.
These are just a few of the many reasons to seek out small businesses when in need of products or services.