Small businesses are the cornerstone of most local economies.
This statement is often said and it is worth remembering. Small, locally-owned businesses put about 68 cents of every dollar spent right back into the local system. On average, a chain store keeps about 43 cents in the local economy. And of course money spent outside the community is gone.
Small businesses also provide jobs and access to good and services. Those items are important as one discusses quality of life and having a community that attracts.
I recently had the chance to discuss these numbers with a group of my Extension colleagues. After looking at the economics and pervasiveness of small businesses, our discussion then progressed into other ways that businesses help build the community.
Often the owner and the employees live in the community as well. They typically get involved in community activities as volunteers, take on leadership roles in various clubs and organizations, and serve in elected and appointed positions. They may be the spark plug for a project.
Another key role that the owners and staff of these small businesses share is being community ambassadors. They do this with not only visitors to the community but may help keep other community members current on various projects and programs.
Plus they take on a substantial role of being a community ambassador as they travel. Go to another community and you will always find people interested in what you have happening where you come from. People are looking for new places to visit. It’s a great opportunity to encourage people to see your hometown.
If you are a small business owner or manager or employee, challenge yourself to take on an even bigger role? If you are a community member, think about how you can enhance your local businesses and encourage others to get into business in your community.
Small businesses are big for local communities.
Just want to see the slides – Go here.
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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.