By Phil Sutton
Kubota Manufacturing of America
Chairman, Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce
Small business is the backbone of our community. As the foundation for our economic wellbeing, local businesses employ locally and provide critical goods, services and tax dollars that directly contribute to the health of our community. In addition, our small businesses contribute to our economy by bringing growth, innovation and character.
Small businesses are the lifeblood that keeps the American economy functioning. According to a report issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2019, small businesses account for 44% of economic activity in the United States. Small businesses create two-thirds of new jobs and deliver 43.5% of the United States’ gross domestic product (GDP).
6 Ways Small Businesses Benefit the Community
- Create job opportunities
- Get more money circulating in the local economy
- Keep taxes close to home
- Build community identity
- Encourage entrepreneurial spirit
- Promote community involvement
I can’t emphasize enough how crucial our small businesses are to economic health of our community – and now more than ever before. When citizens buy from a small business, their money goes to pay for a local employee, who goes on to spend money locally. Studies show that if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays within your local economy. It’s a chain reaction that serves the entire community.
When progressive communities – like Downtown Flowery Branch and the Historic Gainesville Square – are filled with unique coffee shops, lofts and apartments, locally owned restaurants, art galleries, microbreweries, concert venues, design shops and quirky boutiques – together with a large number of strong, non-retail players like architects, real estate agencies, nonprofits and attorneys – that downtown is often the heart and soul of a vibrant community.
A strong small business presence is what gives a community its character. It creates that sense of “place” that attracts tourists, young people and empty nesters, a talented workforce, and more businesses and investors who drive further growth. This is what we are currently seeing throughout Hall County, specifically in the historic communities of Downtown Flowery Branch and Downtown Gainesville.
Progress and growth can bring growing pains. The Chamber staff recently visited with a dozen or so small businesses around the Gainesville Square who are being affected by construction and a loss of foot traffic. See what these folks had to say on page 12. Our small businesses are BIG contributors in so many ways. Let’s continue to support them, and buy local.
Register for the SBA Virtual Summit on September 13-15 during National Small Business Week with presentations designed to help entrepreneurs recover and come back stronger than ever before. Registration: SBA Virtual Summit