Small Businesses are the Heart of Our Community
Growing up in a small community, I frequently visit locally-owned businesses from shoe stores and dress shops to cafés and bookstores. It is true that some small businesses cannot always afford to be the lowest price in town, but there are countless benefits to shopping local. Small business owners get to know their customers, who they are, what they do and even their children’s names. I choose to support locally-owned business because I enjoy walking into a business and being welcomed by name. Throughout this week I have visited several small businesses in Liberty County letting them know that we appreciate them for Georgia Small Business Week. Each time I visited one of these small businesses I was greeted with a smile upon entering.
Small business owners can provide personalized customer service that many corporations cannot. It is small, locally-owned businesses that often sponsor local sports teams, community events and non-profit organizations. Small business owners are the heart of local communities because they have a vested interest in their communities.
If half of the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion dollars in revenue. Can you imagine how many schools/libraries/parks, etc. could be built with those billions? Supporting small business means investing in your local community.
Small businesses in Georgia employed over two-fifths or 1.5 million of the state’s private workforce in 2012 (according to the U.S. Small Business Administration).Many of the jobs created by small business also offer better pay and benefits than corporate jobs. Supporting small business means creating jobs where you live.
According to Internet Retailer online shoppers will spend $327 Billion by 2016. With the rise of E-commerce it is becoming even more difficult for small, locally-owned brick and mortar stores to be successful. Businesses now have to do more than just provide great customer service to stay in business; they must do things like develop a digital marketing strategy and consider E-commerce possibilities to get ahead of the competition.
It would be nearly impossible for a small local retailer to create advertising or marketing campaigns that rival big-box competitors. Many small businesses depend on satisfied customers to spread the word (word of mouth advertising continues to be the most trusted form of advertising). So when you visit a local business, remember to recommend these businesses to friends/family/co-worker, etc. Or even better take the time to write a review on Facebook or Google+.
At the Chamber we support small business by using local small businesses to cater events, purchase office supplies and more. The majority of our Chamber members are small locally-owned businesses and we only recommend members to visitors or residents who stop by or call looking for a particular service or product. We love supporting small businesses because we love Liberty County and we understand that shopping locally means more of our money stays in our community! If you aren’t familiar with the small businesses in Liberty County, you can check out many of the great small businesses in our Membership Directory here. Make sure to also check out the pictures and videos from Small Business Week on our Facebook and Instagram. And don’t forget to Shop Local, Shop Liberty!
Public Information Assistant for the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce