So what do you see when you walk into or drive by your local small businesses?
If you are like many of us, you see a place that offers you goods and services, a place you can go to and get what you want.
Some also may see the economics surrounding the business. Small businesses mean contributions to the local economy and jobs. In many rural areas, new businesses may mean an empty space in a struggling downtown is filled.
Yet they mean so much more. They often form the cornerstone of local communities.
What this means is that small businesses are one of the first in line to support local projects. They do this through donations. How many youth projects depend on local businesses as a key contributor to their activities in your community?
Not only do they donate money, but the business owners contribute time by working at special events or fundraisers. You also will find them as coaches, drivers, maintenance crew and cheerleaders at events. They are there before the event, during the event and long after the event has ended.
The owners aren’t the only ones, however. Business owners commonly allow their employees time to get involved in these local activities as well.
But it doesn’t stop there. Local business owners and their employees are involved in leadership roles, formal and informal, elected and volunteer, private and nonprofit, throughout our community.
In practically all communities, small-business owners and their employees also form a key part of the emergency response teams: fire, ambulance, and disaster response.
Watch when the fire whistle goes off. The person checking you out may let someone else finish the job so he or she could turn into a fireman.
Small-business owners recognize the community is their home and don’t hesitate to step up with support.
During Small Business Week, take the time to stop by your local businesses and say “thanks” for all they do. Not only are they there for you during the day but the middle of the night may find them coming to the store to help you out or on an emergency ambulance run.
Small businesses support the community in so many ways. Remember that by supporting them.
- About the Author
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Glenn Muske is an independent expert on rural small business, working as GM Consulting – Your partner in achieving small business success. He provides consulting, and writes articles for county extension agents and newspapers across North Dakota. Previously, he was the Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist at the North Dakota State University Extension Service – Center for Community Vitality.