Supporting small businesses offers big payoffs

Betsy Markey
Betsy Markey

Addressing national issues might be beyond our individual control, but each of us can effect positive change in our communities by supporting locally owned small businesses.

In Colorado, 97 percent of businesses are considered small. Still, the 560,000 small firms in the state collectively employ nearly 1 million people and account for almost all new jobs. By backing locally owned small businesses, you support the thousands of jobs they create and families they sustain. Small, locally owned businesses constitute the bridge to a more sustainable economy and solution to our most pressing economic problems.

Small firms make big contributions to the quality of life in our cities and towns. Businesses create good jobs and boost the local tax base, which in turn improves schools and parks. Most importantly, local business owners invest in their communities. Behind any civic activity that contributes to the common wellbeing you’re likely to find local entrepreneurs giving their time and money in support of that cause. The assistance provided by volunteers who care about their communities couldn’t be replaced by any amount of government funding. Local business owners are the unsung heroes of our neighborhoods. They’re the leaders, the ambitious, hard-working people who have ideas and act upon them.

Small businesses vie with their bigger competitors not only in terms of price, but also service. Where else are you going to find the in-depth product knowledge and one-on-one customer service small retailers provide?

Moreover, if you spend your money at a locally owned business, that money is more likely to be spent again and again in the local economy, generating many dollars worth of employment. That’s how “localism” can change the way our entire economy works. Every time you buy local, you’re saving a job and supporting your neighbors, friends and families.

Supporting your local small businesses isn’t just a catchy phrase, but a way we can continue to bolster our economies. Each dollar is a vote. We need to make choices that will sustain future generations.

The holiday shopping season offers a good time to celebrate the diversity locally owned small businesses provide. Try it today. Visit with a local small business owner and thank him or her for being such a critical part of the community.