When small business wins, communities win. Community leaders everywhere are in search of new ways to spark growth, keep young people engaged, and revitalize downtown areas. One answer is to cultivate small businesses because when a town offers locally owned restaurants, cool coffee shops, and unique boutiques—along with architects, attorneys, and other professionals—that downtown is often the heart and soul of a vibrant community.
Why Buy Local NJ?
While we live in a time of big box stores and online shopping, it's a strong local small business presence that makes a downtown busy, livable, and enjoyable. Shops and eateries give a community its character. And often, the business owners themselves are "characters" who offer warm, hospitable, gathering places that bring us all together.
These are the motivations that drove the idea to launch BuyLocalNJ, as a blog and video series, that aims to spotlight businesses in our community and the entrepreneurs behind them.
As small business owners ourselves, we realize the many hats that small business owners wear every day, including that of marketer in a dynamic, digital world. We want small businesses to win and believe we can make a bigger impact by working together. Our goal at BuyLocalNJ is to foster and support local communities by providing business owners with a high-quality marketing video, creating a resource for residents to find/learn about local companies, and all the while building a framework that better connects all of us in the process.
Why Small Businesses Are Great For Your Community
- Business Owners Have a Vested Interest in Their Community
Small business owners have a very personal interest in the well-being of their community. Often they are residents whose kids go to the local schools. They care about their neighbors who are their customers.
- Job Creation
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, which employ 58.9 million people or 47.5% of the country's private workforce.
- Keep Money in the Community
There is a local ecosystem that serves the greater community. When you shop at a small business, the resulting revenues pay for a local employee who goes on to spend his or her money locally too.
- Community Involvement
Small business owners frequently support nonprofits by donating money, products, and services that directly benefit local citizens. From sponsoring Little League teams or encouraging employees to volunteer, local business owners are likely to be highly invested in the community and motivated to give their time and resources to make it better.
- Community Identity
From the mom-and-pop shops, popular restaurants, the local CPA, coffee shop, and yoga studio, small businesses contribute to a community’s unique character and charm. Many towns have prioritized preserving the unique character a vibrant small business community creates – transforming that character into an advantage.
Many small businesses are people businesses. Small business owners are more likely to build personal relationships with customers, knowing them by name. Local Chambers of Commerce and other civic organizations encourage business owners to band together, forming relationships, that can contribute to the business community’s long-term success.
- Increased Tax Revenues
A thriving local business will generate high levels of revenue, which means that the business will pay higher taxes, including local property taxes. This money supports local police and fire departments as well as schools. The small business impact on local economy growth also takes the form of sales tax collection.
- Entrepreneurs Solve Problems
Many business owners are local influencers who sit on boards and donate time, energy, and money to other companies and organizations. When seeking to revitalize a community, you’d do well to make them part of the team.
Thriving small businesses can bring tremendous value to local communities. When they succeed, there are more high-paying jobs. Residents have more choices to shop locally. Neighborhoods and schools improve, and that attracts more people to move into the community. It’s a good cycle.
My brother and I are very excited about this project and its potential. We invite you to suggest your favorite local business, engage, and share in an effort to make our New Jersey community the best and enjoyable place to live, work, and play.
What are your favorite local small businesses? Do you make it a point to support them?
Feature image by Arthur Franklin at Unsplash