Although we sure hope you do join us for a day of downtown shopping and an evening tree lighting celebration in Patton Park on 11/27, it’s not just Small Business Saturday that we celebrate in Lake City. Oh no, we celebrate Small Business Season here! After almost 2 years of Covid, supply issues, and price increases, our local retailers, services, and restaurants deserve our support. And, yes, that means our dollars whenever possible too.
As big box stores and online mega-retailers raked it in during the pandemic, our small businesspeople suffered through unprecedented hardships. From lock downs, to capacity limits, to mandatory open-hours reductions, to mask mandates, to the cancelation of community events, to writing Covid plans, and everything in between, small business owners and their employees had so much to navigate while still trying to feed their families, pay rents and mortgages, afford health insurance, etc.
I know it’s cliche to say this, but our small businesspeople are our neighbors. They may be your loved ones, or you may not know them all personally, but they are living, breathing, hard working, tax paying citizens of Lake City. They play such a huge role in defining the landscape of our economy, driving tourism, and providing convenience to our residents.
“According to Fundera, “small businesses generate $68 of local economic return for every $100 spent with them.” On the other hand, it’s estimated that for every $100 spent at a large business, only $43 stays in the community, according to the Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In what other ways do small business people contribute?
- Hire more employees
- Support a local sports team or PTA
- Sponsor an event
- Give to a local nonprofit or charity. According to the Seattle Good Business Network, small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to non-profits and community causes.
- Give bonuses to employees
- Expand into a new product or service line
- Pay employees more or be able to afford offering benefits or better benefits or employee perks
- Move into a larger location, which may help a landlord who hasn’t been able to rent the space
- Pay additional tax dollars that help fund local needs like police, fire, and infrastructure”*
So get out there and fill the sidewalks, shops, and restaurants of our beautiful town this holiday season. Share our small businesses’ Facebook posts. Take a pic in a local spot and post it on your social media. Grab your friends and family and spend a fun day of local dining and shopping. Get that massage, buy that gift certificate. Let’s make it the best shopping season our local small businesspeople have ever experienced! Let’s set a new standard in Lake City.
And if you are one of our local small businesspeople who is reading this, know that we at the Chamber have your back. With all of our hearts and souls, our Board of Directors and staff believe in the power of small business to shape our future. Our door is always open to you.