Happy Small Business Week, everyone.
I know, I know… it’s amazing how everything has a day or week, isn’t it? But we at Community Builders think this week-o-celebration is worthy. Why? Small, local businesses have an outsized impact on so many of the things we care about. It goes without saying that they are essential to healthy local economies. But, let’s say it anyway…
It’s easy to think of small biz primarily in terms of their local impact, so let’s start with a national perspective. According to the Small Business Administration, the nation’s 30.2 million small businesses (which is 99% of all businesses in America) account for over 54% of all U.S. sales and, perhaps more importantly, 64% of net new private sector jobs.
That’s pretty darn good… but it gets better, because where the impact of small businesses really tends to shine is at the local level.
In many communities, particularly smaller cities and towns, small businesses don’t just contribute to the economy, they are the economy. Moreover, because a large proportion of small businesses are locally owned and operated, the dollars these firms bring stay in the community rather than going to payout dividends on Wall Street. This helps build overall community wealth.
Small, local businesses play another critical role in our communities: leadership. In our work in communities around the American West, I’ve been humbled and inspired many times by small business owners who step up in big ways to champion a better and more livable future for the community.
So, this week we’ll be taking a look at the whole enchilada of what small biz brings to our communities—from role in our economy to what happens when they join together to make things happen. Stay tuned…
In the meantime, go out and hug a small business!
Photo credit: Glenwood Springs Chamber