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Shopping Small Offers Big Rewards

Posted by: George Swift on Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The impact of small businesses is often overlooked but when combined, they have tremendous financial force in sales and employment. These mostly locally-owned businesses form the fabric of each community where they are located. According to the Small Business Administration there are approximately 32.5 million small businesses which employ 61.7 million people. That is 47.5 percent of all jobs in this country. These are your neighbors and people you know who support our schools, sports teams and churches. The sales tax generated when you shop small businesses adds to the revenue for our cities, parishes, and state to fund public safety such as police and fire, road construction and maintenance, and dozens of other services we have come to expect. A vibrant downtown is usually driven by locally owned shops and restaurants. The 1960s saw the rise of the American shopping mall and the decades since have seen large chain retailers further cementing their position in terms of taking over the retail sphere and displacing smaller, family run businesses. 

The latest statistics show that these 32.5 million small businesses in the US account for 99.9 percent of all US businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) defines a small business as a firm that has fewer than 500 employees. 

Of these companies, only 20,868 had 500 or more employees. America's economy is a small business economy.

If you have dreamed of starting your own business, contact The SWLA Business Incubator in The SEED Center to discuss your goals. Many retirees are starting businesses. Statistics show us that the new generation of entrepreneurs is more likely to side-hustle. In fact, Millennials and Gen Zers are 188 percent more likely to have the aim of creating a side business, compared to Baby Boomers or Traditionalists. In comparison to Baby Boomers, Millennials and Gen Zers are also 48% percent more likely to say they started a businesses because they had an
idea they were passionate about to bring to the marketplace. And thanks to the ease with which you can start your own business, the process has become much more comfortable for newer generations who are looking to become their own boss. Because of the rise of on-line marketplaces, it’s become easier to run a business from the comfort of your own home, or from a facility like The SEED Center Incubator.

October was National Women’s Small Business Month. Women-owned businesses represent about 42% of all U.S. businesses and generated $1/9 trillion dollars of revenue. Today, there are over 13 million women-owned businesses and counting. If you have a women –owned business, apply with the SBA to become a certified women-owned business. Maintaining your certification as a women- owned business makes you eligible to compete in contracts specifically set aside for under-represented businesses. The Chamber SWLA can help you or you may
get information on the SBA website. 

To honor our small businesses, American Express originally sponsored Small Business Saturday. This day is a celebration of our local businesses. Most small businesses have special promotions that day. If you are a small business owner, The Chamber SWLA can help provide you with some ideas to make the day a success. 

Small Business Saturday will be November 26 following “Black Friday.” Join me in picking a small business or two and shopping for gifts.

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