“Shop Small”, “Shop Local”, “Made in America”, “Made in Michigan” — these are just a few of the buzzwords that you hear this time of year. But have you ever stopped to think about what these phrases really mean to our community and our local economy?
We hear every day about a major company building a new plant in a community. “Two Hundred Million Dollars Invested in Lansing to create 200 jobs.” That seems to be an obscene amount of money for a mere 200 jobs.
Did you know that 75 percent of all jobs are created by small business? Small businesses are rooted in our communities. Small business owners live in the community in which their business resides. Small business owners hire individuals within the community to work for them. At least 50 percent of the monies created by these small businesses stays in our local economy.
When you visit a small business, the owners get to know you — often by name. We learn your likes and dislikes, your hopes and dreams, and about your family. We tailor our products to our customers and can make changes immediately when we see something that needs to be altered, changed, added or deleted. As business owners, we listen to you!
Locally owned businesses are active in our communities. When small businesses thrive, they offer more benefits to employees, donate to non-profits, and invest back into their businesses, employees, and the community. When small businesses experience growth, they expand their goods and services, making an even larger selection available closer to home.
When you visit large cities, what is it you like about them? Often, it’s the unique shops offering unique items you can’t find at home. Shopping local, small businesses allows our community to develop these “big city” shopping experiences.
Consider making “Shop Local”, “Shop Small”, “Made in America” and “Made in Michigan” not just a once-a-year endeavor but a lifestyle. It takes a village to create a community and, as small business owners, we are laying the groundwork for OUR thriving local economy.
— Kathy Holcomb, Absolute Gallery