Why it’s important to support small businesses

Published 4:20 pm Friday, November 26, 2021

The holiday shopping season is here, and we would encourage you to do some shopping at the small businesses in Elizabethton. Every business, of all sizes, is important. But small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They account for half of America’s workforce and they create two out of every three jobs.
Last year there were over 31 million small businesses in the U.S. According to the most current data available, Tennessee has 471,316 small businesses which employ over one million people or 42.3 percent of the private workforce. Most of these businesses have fewer than 100 workers. Together, they help to keep our city, state, and nation running.
Because of COVID-19 the last couple of years have been especially challenging for many of them, especially restaurants. They’ve had to quickly learn how to survive and thrive! They’ve been creative and many have had to reinvent their business plans, to showcase their brand, and look for ways to celebrate their workplace and boost employee morale.
Many are struggling with finding enough employees to run their business. Drive down Broad Street — from east to west — there are Help Wanted signs out everywhere. Grocery stores, chain stores like Wal-Mart and Lowes are hiring. They need business, but they also need employees.
This weekend, after all the turkey, stuffing, and pie have been gobbled up, many people’s thoughts will shift toward holiday shopping and sales. As you do your shopping, we encourage you to visit downtown Elizabethton, and support the many small businesses that line Elk Avenue.
Small businesses like those found in downtown Elizabethton and in the west end of town help make our community thrive. They support our schools, our athletes, our churches, and other activities in the community.
Small businesses help ensure local economies stay strong and vibrant. For every $1 spent at small businesses, 67 cents stays in the community, and businesses often stretch that dollar by banking locally, using local accountants, attorneys and investors and other professionals, buying as often as possible from local supporters and supporting their fellow businesses.
The effect of shopping locally stretches farther than one might realize. When residents don’t support local businesses that business can’t afford to stay open and it is often difficult to replace it, because when future store owners look to open a business in Elizabethton the first thing they look at is how successful similar or previous businesses are.
So from your local hardware and jewelry store to neighborhood restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops and all other kinds of businesses, be intentional this year about supporting our homegrown business. Raising community awareness about their economic contribution is an important step to their success.
Not only do we have small business, but our Chamber of Commerce, the Elizabethton Main Street Association, City Parks and Recreation and local businesses are sponsoring numerous holiday activities this season, including events for children, ice skating — a first for Elizabethton — carriage rides, and lots more.
So, this season we encourage you to invite your family and friends to shop small and show love for their favorite places downtown. Because when small businesses succeed we all do.