The strength of a building is in its foundation.
The same is true with small business in a community. If small businesses are healthy and prospering, job, schools and lifestyle are unique, healthy and burgeoning.
I think all of us have had good and bad experiences with small businesses. There are in fact “new” ventures or established offerings with changing owners, but the good by far outweighs the bad in a community.
These are my five reasons I think supporting our small community with your dollars is crucial to our lifestyle, economy and overall quality of life.
The uniqueness and personality of local businesses is a reflection of the beliefs, hopes and dreams of the owners and community in which they live. In a homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage, lifestyle attractiveness and growth.
Locally owned businesses focus their solutions, services on their communities and those ever-changing needs relentlessly and with great sacrifice. They care about causes in the community as well as their employees who live in the community and seek to give back to the community. Large business for the most part doesn’t act local. Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
Chains and national brands typically extract dollars out of the market. And they are resistant to invest in charities, and local business associations, without corporate red tape. Locally owned businesses channel a large share of their revenue back into the local economy.
Locally owned business is a growth engine for a community if the right balance between regulation and the environment is constructed by municipalities and the economy, jobs, schools and services are the benefactors.
Locally owned businesses create more jobs, and in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than national brands and reginal chains. Individuals benefit from local leadership for providing them career paths, without leaving their home market. Local businesses tend to care deeply for their employees in a way that larger brands and chains don’t. Employee’s in many cases get operational experience and career pathing opportunities faster than in a larger brand business.
Healthy entrepreneurship in Peoria and the West Valley reflects economic innovation and prosperity serving as the means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class. A marketplace with many offerings is more competitive and lowers prices. As a small local business, each has the adaptability to select products/solutions based, not on a national plan or strategy but on the interests, needs, wants and expectations of their local customers. This creates unique buying and social experiences and rich environment for growth.
Now more than ever, through this pandemic, our Peoria businesses and the continued health of our community need your dollars and patronage. Let us not lose what we have worked so hard to create for our community and families.
Editor’s note: Scot Andrews is President and CEO of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce.