Small businesses are one of the most important aspects of every community. Not only do small businesses “account for 99.7% of all business in the US,” they are also leaders in giving back to the community through charity (Schmid). In fact, a survey conducted last year found that “92 percent of U.S. small business owners… [surveyed] said they personally donate to charities and nonprofit organizations” (Hernandez). To learn more about how small businesses help the community, take a look below.
Small businesses give a community its unique identity. Art galleries, bookstores, cafes, yoga studios, and corner grocery stores add character to the communities that they call home. Many towns are proud of the number of local businesses that inhabit their community. In an effort to attract visitors, local tourism boards often advertise the number of local businesses as a sign of community health.
The above statistic makes it clear that small business owners want to give back to the communities they live in. Many small businesses sponsor local sports teams or donate money to local charities around the holidays. Since small business owners usually live in the communities where they work, they care about their neighbors. In general, they don’t make decisions that will negatively affect other community members.
Small businesses benefit from customer relationships. When you visit a local business, it’s very likely that you will meet the owner. Oftentimes, owners make an effort to get to know their customers, learn their names, and remember their preferences. Small businesses don’t have all of the advantages that big businesses have, so they care about providing great customer service and establishing lasting relationships with their customers.
Help the Environment
When numerous small businesses are located in one area, foot traffic is increased and people don’t have to rely on their automobiles as much. This contributes to better air quality. Today consumers are increasingly concerned about the health of the environment. They also care about walkability. Since small businesses tend to be located close to one another, this helps increase a community’s walkability and attract health-conscious residents.
Small businesses provide jobs to community members. When someone can get a job in the area where they live, they don’t have to commute to another city, and they may even be able to walk to work each day. Also, when community members shop at local businesses, they help put money in the pockets of their neighbors behind the counter.