Why Communities Depend on Their Small Businesses

Small independent businesses are pillars of local communities. Beyond providing needed goods, services, and jobs, they fuel neighborhood revitalization, build social connections, and help cities and towns thrive economically and culturally. Supporting your local and small businesses supports the heart of your community.  

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Unlike big chains and corporations, successful small businesses invest back into their neighborhoods. Local business owners tend to live in the community, use other local vendors, donate to community causes, and participate in local events and activities. Studies show that a dollar spent at small local businesses generates over twice as much local economic impact as money spent at chains and online retailers.  

These businesses also give cities and towns an authentic sense of place. A neighborhood’s unique character comes from its one-of-a-kind shops, funky coffee houses, eclectic restaurants, and more. Without these independent establishments, most places look eerily identical with the same fast food joints and mega-retailers. Local pride and tourism depend hugely on highlighting distinctive small businesses.

And while no business is recession-proof, vibrant local business districts can lessen economic downturns. Areas abundant in community-rooted enterprises have shown faster job growth and economic recovery than chain-dominated locales. Cities focused on growing local businesses are betting on themselves for a brighter future.

The past couple of years have hit small businesses hard, which means supporting them now is more important than ever. Seek them out over chains and big-box competitors. Buy gift cards and local merchandise. Hire neighborhood professionals. Every dollar makes a difference to the businesses that make our communities unique.

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