Many say that small businesses are the backbone of any country. They benefit the community in so many ways and they’re important on many different levels. They create jobs for locals, they encourage economic growth, they lessen environmental impact – just to name a few reasons! As a small business ourselves, we know sometimes the struggle to compete with the big guys and to stand out among the crowd can get you down. But we want to see you succeed. So here’s a little boost – here are 7 ways your small business is helping your local community.
According to the Government of Canada, small businesses employed 8.4 million Canadians, or 69.9% of the labor force. Likewise, according to Fundera, small businesses account for 64% of new jobs in the United States. Small businesses create job growth and provide locals with job opportunities – an overall positive in terms of a healthy economy and a happy community.
When customers patronize a local business, most of the money they spend will end up circulating back into the local community for a number of reasons. Small businesses tend to outsource with other local businesses – for example, if a local coffee shop wants to find a graphic designer to create a new logo for their business, or if a local retailer needs to invest in some renovations, those small companies are more likely to seek out another small business in their local area instead of one of the big guys. Similarly, small business owners themselves tend to shop locally as well. Owners of small businesses tend to eat at local restaurants and shop at local retailers. The salaries they make as business owners return to the communities from which they came – encouraging economic growth.
Likewise, the taxes from small businesses wind up back in the community. Taxes paid to small businesses, and the local taxes paid by small businesses, end up paying for community improvements such as schools, green space, public transit, and health care. Conversely, taxes paid to big corporations, or when shopping online, may not stay within the local circuit.
Small businesses represent the community in a number of ways. They reflect the communities from which they come – having been founded by local entrepreneurs and maintained by local employees, small businesses are a portrait of the local area. Likewise, these businesses become part of the local landscape. Think about it like this – if you’re walking down the streets of downtown or the city center, the ensemble of restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques create the unique ambiance and charm of your city. They attract tourists and make locals proud of where they live. Small businesses are part of the community in a way big corporations simply are not.
As a whole, small businesses and their owners tend to be more involved with their communities. Small businesses are more likely to contribute to charities, especially local ones. Small Biz Trends finds that 52% of small businesses donate to charity. Small business owners tend to also sponsor, organize, and host local events to maintain a lively community. Plus, as previously mentioned, giving locals job opportunities is another way small businesses help the community.
To stand out among the crowd, small businesses have to be innovative and unique. They must do something different than their competition, or they risk disappearing. That’s why most successful business owners tend to be innovative, creative entrepreneurs with a one of a kind idea.
Not only does this encourage more innovation and growth within the community, but it also creates a more diverse marketplace. If your local businesses offer something unique, it adds to the tourist appeal of your area, gives your community a more distinct personality, and a diverse marketplace also leads to well-served and satisfied customers.
Your business is good for the environment, too!
For one thing, local businesses tend to set up shop in pre-existing buildings. Bigger companies and corporations often get infrastructures built for them – leading to less green space in the community and more harmful materials. Small businesses don’t take more space – they use the space that’s already there, which is what environmental conservation is all about.
Additionally, small businesses also tend to carry locally produced products, or products from smaller manufacturers, both of which have much less impact on the environment. Finally, small businesses tend to be in community centers where it’s more common to walk or cycle. This means fewer patrons and employees will have to drive to access the business.
To conclude, small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities. Your business is contributing to your local community in ways you probably never even thought of. Can you think of a few other ways small businesses contribute to the community? Let us know!