Small businesses are helping to revive downtown

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Take a stroll downtown Elizabethton, and you will find a thriving downtown. A number of new small businesses have opened on Elk Avenue, offering a variety of goods. No, there aren’t any large department stores and five and dime stores that made Elizabethton the thriving downtown it was 75 years ago.
It is a different era, a different downtown, but what is important is that we still have a downtown, and it is thriving. 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. But the truth is there’s nothing small about the impact they have on our economy. And, last week, City leaders announced they are close to sealing a deal on the new Cobblestone Motel, which will be located in the west end of town near the Wal-Mart.
Also, the Parks and Rec Department has hinted at new plans for the Covered Bridge Park, to make it more attractive for community events and for the community.
A lot of things are happening, and that is good news for not only the downtown, but for the entire community.
The importance of small business to local communities is emotionally rooted in buying and selling with friends and neighbors. The importance of small businesses also is seen in the economic benefits of shopping locally. In some towns such as Elizabethton, a small business is the only type that can survive while serving a reduced population. Small businesses also present new employment opportunities and often serve as the building blocks of larger companies. Take, for instance, the Doe River Coffee Company. It started out in a restaurant, but now is a business in its own right, serving neighboring towns and businesses.
When consumers patronize local small businesses, they are essentially giving money back to their local community. A thriving local business will generate high levels of revenue, which means that the business will pay higher taxes, including local property taxes. This money is then used for local police and fire departments as well as schools. A thriving small business also can improve property values throughout a community, improving every homeowner’s bottom line while generating more property taxes for local governments.
The small business impact on local economy growth also takes the form of sales tax collection. Local businesses charge sales tax based on their location and can be the backbone of special taxation districts focused on unique projects, such as lighting and sidewalk projects to improve historic shopping districts and attract additional customers.
The money paid to local governments by small, local businesses is used for many things, including the financing of roads, public schools, sidewalks and parks. Many cities subsidize youth sports leagues that are sponsored by the parks department. The money used to fund such activities comes from taxes, which are paid in part by small local businesses as sales tax revenue.
In addition, small local businesses typically provide better customer service than their large, corporate counterparts. The small business owner often lives in the community, worships, plays sports and socializes with community members, and cares about the individuals who patronize his business. Because of his personal involvement with the community, he will strive to provide the best service possible to customers.
Aside from providing local job opportunities, small, local businesses support the area through their everyday needs. Small businesses open accounts at local banks, hire local CPAs and attorneys and when they need supplies they can step down the street to get them quickly. Running a small local business provides automatic advantages in the daily operations.
Some good things are happening in Elizabethton, and small businesses are a big part of that success story. We encourage our readers to take time to visit downtown and see what is happening.

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