6 important reasons you should support local small businesses

6 important reasons you should support local small businesses

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The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that small businesses make up a whopping 99.9% of all U.S. Businesses. What's more, Utah just happens to be the best state in the nation for starting a small business, according to WalletHub.

But these small businesses rely on something very important to survive: your business. Your support of local small businesses doesn't just financially benefit the company; It helps the community at large. With that in mind, here are six reasons why you should shop small and close to home.

Add character and variety to the community

Consider how boring it would be if every state and every city had the same big-box stores with the same products for sale. Luckily, small businesses make shopping much more fun and meaningful.

"Small businesses are what define our communities," Scott Pynes, who bought Cactus & Tropicals with his wife Karin in 2002, told the Salt Lake Chamber. "Small businesses give our city character. Our goal is to add to that character, and bring creativity and passion to the shopping experience."

Allow people to do what they love

In a world where so many people dislike their jobs, small businesses give entrepreneurs a chance to follow their passions while serving the community. After Heidi Christensen regained mobility and strength through Pilates after several knee surgeries, she and her husband, Collin, decided to open BODYBAR Pilates in Salt Lake to share those benefits with others.

"Our business has given us the opportunity to turn our passion for fitness and wellness into a rewarding venture," Collin Christensen told the Chamber. "It allows us to work together as a couple, combine our diverse skill sets and make a difference in people's lives by promoting healthier lifestyles."

We want to make sure we're providing our clients with the media they need to achieve their vision. We don't even have any sort of package pricing — we sit down with each client and customize our work for them.

–Brent Uberty, founder of BW Productions

Provide personalized attention to customers

Smaller businesses often have the means and resources to provide individualized attention for each customer. Brent Uberty, founder of the local video production company BW Productions, is proud that his team helps people tell meaningful stories on a personal level.

"We really care about the work our clients are doing," Uberty told the Chamber. "We want to make sure we're providing our clients with the media they need to achieve their vision. We don't even have any sort of package pricing — we sit down with each client and customize our work for them."

Amplify diverse voices

A strong desire to create joy and connection through literature inspired Kelly Dearth and Alix Lewis-Burrows to found LitJoy, a small business dedicated to creating a community for book lovers through signed books, book boxes and gifts. Lewis-Burrows has loved every minute of being a business owner because it's helped her follow her passions and show her children what's possible.

"Honestly, the thing I cherish the most about my company is that my daughter, my business partners' daughters, and my son will just never question if a woman should be running a company," Lewis-Burrows told the Chamber. "I'm proud of the fact that my kids can see me as a CEO. That sort of example was few and far between during my childhood, so that's an opportunity that I'm really grateful for."

6 important reasons you should support local small businesses
Photo: Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com

Serve those in need

Small businesses can help meet specific needs in the community by offering services for those in need. Brighter Futures, Inc. is a foster care agency that goes beyond merely finding homes for foster care children. They offer a comprehensive range of programs and services that benefit foster children, host homes, people with disabilities and foster parents. These services include after school programs, foster family training, crisis intervention and therapy.

"I'm a big creator and ideator, and I think that small businesses really give us the flexibility we need to be able to do that," Kristina Worton, Brighter Futures' CEO, told the Chamber. "It's good for the community, too, because people want to participate in an organization that has that flexibility to create, to invent, to take on innovative practices. Those are the things that will help us make a big personal impact on children's lives."

Give back to the community

The beautiful thing about supporting small businesses is that it creates a ripple effect that ends up benefiting multiple people.

Writing for Business.com, Mark Fairlie explains, "Big corporations don't invest nearly as much money in the communities they serve as local businesses do. Instead, they return it to shareholders or invest in other regions. Local communities benefit more when that money is reinvested in the neighborhood – precisely what many small businesses do."

Alpha Coffee, a local company co-owned by Carl and Lori Churchill, is a prime example of that.

"We wanted to build a coffee business that was different," Carl told the Chamber. "We weren't looking for a drive through. We were looking for a way to build community and give back."

Through their Grounds for Goods program, the Churchills began donating over 10% of their profits to organizations supporting veterans, the community and the planet.

"When you come into our coffee shop, you are supporting at least 10 other small local businesses, whether they be our two local bakers, Ritual chocolate company, the local beekeepers who we get our honey products from, or other local beverage companies like Luma Juice or Mamachari Kombucha," Carl said. "For us, it's really important that we support other small businesses to keep money local and build financial resiliency within the community."

If you want to help the community, help small businesses! Visit any of the businesses on this list, or use the Salt Lake Chamber's business directory to find other local companies near you.

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