Before our turkey and pumpkin pie even reaches our intestines, many of us will be dashing off to Best Buy and Walmart to compete for our chance to buy an 800″ Samsung HDTV for $3.97. But before we do, I wanted to give a few reasons to be thankful for – and support – our local small businesses.
Small businesses may not have the million dollar marketing and advertising budgets to promote our holiday sales ad nauseam like the big box stores, and we may choose to stay home with our families on Thanksgiving rather than open up shop to squeeze every penny out of consumers, but that’s part of what makes us who we are: local people. We’re about so much more than the bottom line. We’re about good old fashioned hard, honest work, family, and building relationships. We are actual living, breathing, walking, talking, loving people – we didn’t need a Supreme Court decision to validate that.
So before we rush out to spend all of our holiday budget at the Supreme Court’s definition of people-corporations, let’s consider our local small business. And if being actual people isn’t enough of a reason, here are seven more reasons to not only thank your local small business owners but make it a point to shop them this holiday season:
1. Employment – Small Businesses with fewer than 20 employees make up 89.8% of employers in the country (Source: US Census Bureau Data 2011)
2. Job Creation: Small companies with 20-499 employees led job creation after the Great Recession of 2009, with 60% of all new jobs being credited to small businesses – that’s a total of about 14.3 million jobs – and I can pretty much guarantee most of those 14.3 million jobs wouldn’t require anyone to work on Thanksgiving! (Source: SBA’s Office of Advocacy. See more at: http://www.sbecouncil.org/about-us/facts-and-data/#sthash.avpzvi2h.dpuf)
3. Contributing to GDP: “A January 2012 report from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy found: “Small businesses continue to be incubators for innovation and employment growth during the current recovery. Small businesses continue to play a vital role in the economy of the United States. They produced 46 percent of the private nonfarm GDP in 2008 (the most recent year for which the source data are available). (Source: “Small Business GDP: Update 2002-2010”)
4. Innovation: You want innovation? We got innovation! Small, high-patenting companies produce 16 times more patents per employee than large patenting companies. In addition, a 2008 study by Anthony Breitzman and Diana Hicks for the Office of Advocacy found that “small firms are much more likely to develop emerging technologies than are large firms. Specifically, although small firms account for only 8 percent of patents granted, they account for 24 percent of the patents in the top 100 emerging clusters.” (See more at: http://www.sbecouncil.org/about-us/facts-and-data/#sthash.avpzvi2h.dpuf)
5. Supporting Veterans: Veterans own more than 3.7 million small businesses, and are at least 45 percent more likely to be self-employed in the private sector workforce than those with no active-duty military experience. (Source: sba.gov)
7. Supporting Local Communities: Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes. (Source: Institute for Self Reliance)
Happy Thanksgiving and please don’t forget to show thanks to the small businesses that positively contribute, not only to our local communities, but our national economy by shopping small this holiday season!
Do you have any small businesses you love to support during the holidays – or any other time of the year? Show them you support them, by leaving a comment and sharing why you love doing business with them!