Local businesses are the lifeblood of the communities they serve.
It’s no secret that, here at Top Rated Local®, we have a thing for local businesses. In fact, we love them so much that we’ve dedicated ourselves to helping them manage their online reputations effectively, while also connecting them with consumers in their communities.
Why do we love local businesses so much? Because of what they do for their communities and for the people they serve day in and day out. There’s no doubt about it, small businesses are special, and they’re a big part of what makes their communities so great.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit all of us hard, and small businesses are no exception. The social distancing requirements necessary to minimize the spread of coronavirus have also led to countless restaurants, retail stores, and other local businesses having to temporarily close their doors.
The good news is that there are many ways that you can still support the local businesses in your community. Check out our previous blog to learn about a few of them, and keep reading to learn about the many reasons why you should make it a point to support them.
5 Ways Local Businesses Benefit Their Communities
#1. By creating local jobs.
When compared to the many giant corporations that employ tens of thousands of people, the jobs created by small businesses may seem like a drop in the hat. However, all of those small businesses ( and the jobs they create) really add up. They make up 64 percent of all private sector jobs in the United States.
That’s a lot of jobs, and thanks to the fact that small businesses are invested in their local communities, those jobs tend to stay local. When small businesses succeed, the many people they employ also succeed, which ripples across the economy as a whole.
According to The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), small businesses are an essential part of creating economic self-sufficiency and eliminating poverty in the United States.
#2. By keeping money in the community.
A corporation’s number one goal is to please its shareholders, which is why corporations generally make financial decisions with their shareholders in mind. This might mean investing in stock buybacks or dividends when corporations have extra cash on hand. For small businesses, though, which often work with local supply chains and employ local people, any money made goes directly back to the community they serve.
Additionally, big box stores and corporations tend to try to save as much money on their taxes as possible by exploiting every possible loophole. This may be why small businesses actually contribute more in tax revenue to local economies than corporations do.
Local businesses also do more by making charitable contributions that directly affect their communities. In addition to giving to local food banks and other nonprofit organizations, small businesses help to make many other things possible, including sports leagues and teams, as well as the school paper and yearbook.
#3. By innovating.
When it comes to innovation, corporations have nothing on small businesses. According to research from the Small Business Administration (SBA), when compared to large corporations, small businesses produce 16 times the number of patents per employee. This innovation might look like creating new products, improving existing products, developing new methods or processes, and finding new supply sources.
Part of what holds many corporations back from innovation is their shareholders. Shareholders are, in general, adverse to risk, and innovation, in most cases, is definitely a risk. However, many corporations have started to model their operations to be more like startups to try to spark some of that innovation.
The innovation that comes from small businesses has the potential to positively affect neighborhoods, towns, and entire communities.
#4. By reinforcing the personality of the community.
What is it that makes a community special? There are many answers to this question, but nothing makes a community quite as unique as the small businesses that serve it. After all, most communities have the same big box stores as every other community, but only small businesses reinforce the personality of that community.
Small business owners aren’t separated from the communities they serve. In addition to running their own business, they’re residents just like everyone else, which means that they share the goals of the community and recognize what makes it special. And, instead of relying on the decisions of a few corporate bigwigs, small businesses have the flexibility to evolve with the times to meet the changing needs and goals of their community.
#5. By supporting other small businesses.
Big box stores rely on large volumes of sales, which means that their number one priority is to keep prices low. This can result in predatory marketing strategies and pricing that ends up putting small businesses in the community at risk.
Small businesses, on the other hand, still compete with one another for their share of the market, but the difference is that they are operating and competing on the same level. That means that the best businesses win out, rather than just the biggest.
Small businesses also aren’t a threat to other businesses in the community. Big box stores, like Walmart, tend to offer a wide range of products that can put a wide range of small businesses out of business, like beauty supply stores, hardware stores, pet stores, auto supply stores, craft stores, homeware stores, and more.
Show your appreciation for the local business in your community.
Local businesses do so much for the communities they serve, and right now, they’re facing difficulties that could be difficult, if not impossible, to recover from. Do your part and give back to the incredible businesses that make your community such a wonderful place.
Learn how to support the local businesses in your community safely throughout the coronavirus pandemic by checking out my previous blog. And, turn to Top Rated Local, your go-to local business directory, to find the right local businesses for your needs.