Small businesses are important to our community

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Think back on the past week for a moment and all your activities.
If you’re a typical Carter Countian, you probably did things such as fill up your car’s gas tank, grab lunch at a local restaurant or fast food place, bought some milk and bread at the local grocery store, shopped for a gift at Wal-Mart…the list goes on and on.
Now think about where you did most of these activities. Again, if you’re like most Carter Countians, you stopped at a local gas station, ate at a local restaurant or fast food place, did some grocery shopping at the Wal-Mart, Ingles, or Food City, etc. Subconsciously, you were shopping at home and at local businesses, which are the backbone of our economy.
Each week, business licenses are issued by the Carter County Court Clerk’s office to individuals, who have or are starting their own businesses. Some have their own lawn and landscaping service, do home improvement and construction work. Others do handyman work, photography, catering, etc. Recently, a Stoney Creek man secured a license for farrier services — horseshoeing services. Another applied for and received a license to sell aircraft.
According to the Small Business Administration, more than half of all Americans either work for or own a small business, usually defined as a company with 100 or fewer employees. Entrepreneurs — the risk takers with a big idea — who take the plunge and start their own businesses account for two of every three jobs in the United States, according to SBA data.
There are dozens of other small businesses in our community that are needed and who homeowners and individuals use without giving it a second thought. They include plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, music teachers, custodians and people who clean offices and homes, etc.
We often hear that small businesses are the engines of job creation in the United States. Their value and the role they play in our economy is sometimes underestimated because, they are in fact, small.
Local small business owners are usually the first to jump in to take risks, such as venturing into a still-revitalizing downtown to open up shop. They also patronize other small businesses for their needs, too, such as the local restaurateur who buys their produce and meats from local food distributors or co-ops. And more of the dollars spent at a small business that’s locally owned stays in the local economy, rather than getting shipped off to the distant coffers of a corporate headquarters.
And yes, even the big businesses in the area often patronize local small businesses for many of their needs. Think cleaning services, maintenance of critical building systems such as electrical and HVAC, landscaping and local venues for corporate events.
Also, vibrant local businesses lead to more charitable giving in the community. They are the businesses that support our schools, Little League and Boys and Girls Club programs, our churches, and other notable activities such as Relay for Life and youth activities.
Small businesses have a place in our community and provide much-needed services. For small business, you see, really does power the country.

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