Ok, I’m a few days late. Small Business Saturday was this past weekend, and I was actually home caring for my 3 year old who had the stomach flu. But I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for a day dedicated to that which is the heartbeat of our economy.
I am passionate about motherhood and babies, but I am also passionate about small business. I am just incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to combine these two into work that makes me excited to get up every morning (at 5am).
How important are small businesses to the U.S. economy? Here are some facts I pulled from the Small Business Administration:
• Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
• Employ half of all private sector employees.
• Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
• Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
• Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.
• Hire 43 percent of high tech workers ( scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and others).
• Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
• Make up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produce 31 percent of export value
• Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.
Think about your own local community and the relationships you have been fortunate to form; your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, dry cleaner, florist, pharmacy, toy store, clothing store… If you only shop at Target and Costco, you may want to consider some of the benefits of shopping small:
- Personable – the owner of your favorite restaurant knows you by name and puts in your usual order (with its ridiculous list of substitutions) when you walk in the door.
- Unique – that divine, handmade item you couldn’t live without? Nope, you won’t find that at Walmart.
- Authentic – real people who work real hard – and treat you like a real person.
- Sustainable/Health - as in locally grown, carefully harvested, transparent about ingredients, processed humanely, fair trade, packaged in non-toxic containers with a shelf life shorter than my grandma has been alive. Oh, and the ozone is not destroyed in the process.