“Retailers have long known that small businesses make up the bulk of the industry and exemplify many of its best features,” says the National Retail Federation.
“More than two dozen studies have looked at the value that small businesses bring to their local communities, according to Michael H. Shuman, an economist and author specializing in community economics.“Every single one of them shows that every single dollar spent at a local business leads to two to four times the amount of jobs, income and wealth, tax collections and charitable contributions.”
Let’s take a more detailed look at 4 compelling reasons why small businesses are here to stay:
1. Small retailers have the advantage of knowing their customers – A Batavia, Illinois, jewelry store was named “Best jewelry store in Chicago’s western suburbs” two years running, in part, by creating a laid-back, friendly atmosphere.
“I think it’s about that personal touch and being part of our community,” remarks K.Hollis Jewelers owner. “Everyone knows everyone else here, and they’re greeted with a hug.”
The customer relationships small businesses are able to cultivate give them a distinct advantage over bigger corporations. Odds are small businesses know the names of their customers, along with information about their personal lives and product preferences. It’s nearly impossible for bigger companies to establish the same vital connection with customers (those that do really stand out).
2. Small retailers provide unprecedented personal service – As a small-town destination store in North Carolina, Ashworth’s Clothing knows that the secret to running a successful local business is offering above-and-beyond customer service.
When a regular Ashworth’s customer (who works approximately 20 miles away in Raleigh) called in the middle of a workday to say he needed a particular pair of dress shoes within the next few hours but didn’t think he’d be able to make it into the store, an Ashworth’s employee drove up to Raleigh and hand-delivered the shoes to ensure they arrived on time.
“We probably didn’t come out ahead on that pair of shoes,” Ashworth says, “but it’s about the big picture. You have a lot of pride when you do something like that for a customer.”
Studies confirm the value of Ashworth’s customer service standards, indicating that 81% of consumers think small businesses deliver better service than big businesses do.
3. Small retailers are passionate about their businesses, their employees and their local communities – According to American Express, research indicates that “vibrant local business communities lead to more charitable giving in a community.and more walkable neighborhoods with unique character.”
When it comes to maintaining community character, you cannot beat small, independent businesses. Local business owners represent the true, positive impact that small businesses can have as cornerstones of their community.
“If you live in Smalltown, USA and work at Random Small Business LLC, chances are you’ll spend that money right where you earned it. That revenue and the resulting tax dollars are then spread around the community, enriching and supporting everyone in the process.”
Source: Huffington Post
4. Small businesses provide 2/3 of the nation’s new jobs – Small businesses are often referred to as the engines of job creation in the United States.
The House Committee on Small Business indicates that small businesses create seven of every ten new jobs and employ just over half of the country’s private sector workforce.
As per a Forbes article, there are between 25 million and 27 million small businesses in the U.S. that account for 60 to 80% of all U.S. jobs.
“According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms. Since 1995, small businesses have generated 64 percent of new jobs, and paid 44 percent of the total United States private payroll.”
While it’s true that large corporations have changed the face of shopping over the past few decades, with big-box stores driving out small retailers by undercutting their prices and building mammoth operations, locally owned businesses have been making an impressive comeback.
The stability of our nation is dependent, in part, upon the financial strength derived from these businesses. As the 4 points above indicate, small businesses stimulate local (and national) economies, providing employment opportunities, regional income and wealth, charitable contributions, and a sense of community that customers love.
Also published on Medium.