An Ode to Small Businesses

In honor of last week’s Small Business Saturday, we’re celebrating the many ways that small, local businesses make a difference in their communities and in the world.

Small businesses are absolutely essential.

Small, local businesses are often underestimated by their communities as well as by the people who own and run them, but the impact they have is anything but small. Last week, Saturday, November 30th, was Small Business Saturday, a holiday that celebrates small businesses and encourages communities to give back by shopping local, and in order to celebrate Small Business Saturday and the many small businesses that serve their communities, we’ll be discussing a few of the ways that small businesses make an impact.

7 Reasons Small Business Matters

#1. Small businesses create jobs.

There are a few big companies that employ a large percentage of Americans, but when it comes to employment, the big corporations just can’t compete with the power of small business. Did you know that 99.7 percent of all employer firms are represented by small businesses? Additionally, small businesses are responsible for paying out 45 percent of the private payroll in the United States, and they have generated up to 80 percent of the net new jobs every year for the past decade.

The United States’ 2018 Small Business Profile found that the 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S. employ 47.5 percent of the private sector and added 1.9 million net new jobs for the last year that was studied. Here’s what Acting Chief Counsel Major L. Clark, III had to say about the importance of small business:

“Small businesses are the United States’s economic engine. They are the key to the state’s ability to grow economic output, entrepreneurship, and private sector employment.”

#2. Small businesses help local economies thrive.

Unlike when you shop with giant online retailers and other large corporations, when you spend your money with local businesses, that money largely goes back into the local economy. Local businesses often have local suppliers, are more likely to offer local goods and hire locals to help them serve their customers. When those businesses need signage, they turn to local sign companies, and when those businesses need an architect and an interior designer to design their new location, they also turn to local professionals.

Each and every one of these factors leads to a multiplying effect for your money when you shop locally. In fact, every dollar you spend at a local business can bring as much as $3.50 into your local economy.

In addition to aiding local economies, small businesses also give back to their local communities through charitable donations and volunteering. According to the NFIB National Small Business Poll, 91 percent of small businesses gave back to their communities through direct-cash contributions, in-kind contributions or volunteering, and 41 percent of them contribute by doing all three.

#3. Small businesses offer one-of-a-kind products and services.

Small businesses are as varied as they are numerous. Every week here at Top Rated Local, we announce the award winners in a new state across 62 different categories, as well as the top 100 businesses in the state. Our categories consist of everything from accounting firms and barber shops to window cleaners and veterinarians, but in our top 100, there are always a few totally unique businesses.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the standard businesses, like jewelry stores, family doctors offices and restoration companies, but the most unique businesses are the ones that bring the most character to their communities. From lawn care companies that utilize goats instead of lawnmowers to escape rooms and board game cafes, each business is unique and special in its own way.

#4. Small businesses give access to expertise.

Small businesses give back to their communities in so many different ways, all of which are incredibly valuable, but there’s one way that’s all too often overlooked — through education! Small businesses are owned by experts in a variety of fields. Not every person who goes to beauty school has what it takes to own a beauty salon, and not every person who passes their CPA exam will go on to open an accounting firm. Furthermore, starting a business takes a whole lot of time and education, and it’s not something that just anyone can do or wants to do.

In addition to contributing to the local economy, the community’s well-being and creating jobs, when consumers choose to shop locally, they also give their clients access to their expertise. Whether they’re hosting a lunch and learn about how to save for your first home or giving free massages and teaching runners about proper form at a 5k, small businesses of all types are bettering their communities by giving them access to their knowledge and experience.

#5. Small businesses keep the world green.

As we previously mentioned, small businesses are more likely to utilize local resources, which means that fewer cross-country deliveries are required, helping to reduce the number of travel miles required each and every day. And when people make the commitment to shop locally, it also reduces the number of miles they travel to shop.

Another big environmental benefit of shopping at small, local businesses is land savings. Big box stores tend to be — well — big. These stores tend to require a whole lot of retail space, and that’s not even including the space needed for parking. Cities across America have seen green, open spaces get eliminated by the spread of big business, but by supporting local businesses, you can keep your open spaces open, protecting habitats of a wide range of species! On the other hand, when small businesses decide to expand, they often utilize existing spaces.

#6. Small businesses provide better service.

Let’s face it, for large corporations with all of the financial resources in the world, the stakes are about as low as they can get where customer service is concerned. If the service they provide is subpar and they end up losing a customer because of it, they’ll simply move onto the next customer. Corporations also have the resources to hire professionals to help them clean up the consequences of poor customer service.

Small businesses have a lot more at stake than large corporations, which gives them an incentive to invest in providing next-level customer service to each and every customer. Small business owners often work and live alongside the people they serve as well, giving them even more motivation to get it right when it comes to service. Last but not least, if a large corporation makes a mistake and gets sued, they’ll simply pay what they owe and move on with their lives. But for a small business, legal trouble can lead to disaster, and it gives them yet another reason to ensure that they get the job done right the first time.

#7. Small businesses keep the competition alive.

In this day and age, it’s easy to forget that there’s more than just a few different businesses out there, because it seems like there’s a monopoly in almost every industry. But still, for every big box store, there are thousands of local businesses that offer the same goods and products, as well as more educated staff and better customer service. And believe it or not, these businesses are the ones that are keeping the competition alive, which helps to set a higher standard of service and helps to keep prices low.

In addition to lower prices and better service, the competition that small businesses help to create also leads to increased innovation and choice for consumers. Think about it, with just a handful of big box stores, there’s only one sales plan, but with a multitude of small businesses, there could be thousands of sales plans all based on the individual needs of the business owners in the community, leading to a more diverse range of goods and services.

Make your small business stand out with Top Rated Local.

If you’re the owner of a small business, we salute you and commend you for everything you do for your community and the world. And we’d love to give back to you by helping you maintain the kind of reputation that helps you stand out online and get noticed.

With Top Rated Local, small, local businesses have the ability to keep a pulse on their online reputation as a whole — across multiple verified review sites — in one place. Our Rating Score™ is calculated by several variables, including how many review sites a business is a listed on, how many reviews a business has on those review sites and how many stars those reviews are, how recent the reviews are, and while it can’t give you a detailed look into your overall online reputation, your Rating Score is the perfect way to get a general overview of what’s going on.

These days, a business’ online reputation is everything, and with Top Rated Local on your side, it’s never been easier to build and maintain a solid online reputation. Get started today!

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