National Small Business Week was May 1-7 and was created to celebrate the top entrepreneurs in every state with awards or recognition. Looking back on last week, it is important to recognize, appreciate and understand how small local businesses help their communities and economy. According to National Today, there are 33.2 million small businesses in the United States and more than 450,000 of them are in Minnesota.
The opportunities these businesses provide for local entrepreneurs is vast. They allow them to have a job that can be more creative and self fulfilling than a job with a larger company might be. A small business can be anything from a handy-man service to a boutique to a family clinic, so there is a lot of freedom in what someone may decide they want to do.
Local businesses also can create jobs in your neighborhood and when you choose to spend your money at a local cafe rather than Starbucks, that money stays within the local economy rather than going to a corporate company whose headquarters might not even be in your state.
Additionally, larger companies don’t benefit from your money as much as a local company would. When you spend money at a small business most of it goes back to the business itself and some could even be put toward other businesses in the neighborhood.
It’s important to also note the struggles small businesses may go through. The choice to start a small business is not an easy one and can be hard for the first couple years and more than 50 percent fail during this time, according to National Today.
Because of the pandemic, small businesses had to close their doors if they weren’t considered an essential business and many weren’t sure when they could open back up again. There were even 31 percent of these businesses that closed down for good.
Since then there has still been an adjustment to different procedures to make sure their customers and community members feel safe shopping in their stores, sitting in their dining areas and interacting with their employees. It is, now more than ever, important to support and show appreciation toward them.
So even though National Small Business Week was last week, as a community we can continue to show support by choosing to shop with them rather than always choosing bigger national companies. When you shop locally you’re putting your money right back into your own community and making it even better than it was before.