Today we honor the little guy, the mom & pop business owners out there! I would like to encourage those reading this article to consider buying local for job growth, economy stimulation, and reducing environmental impacts to name a few reasons. I found this amazing scholarly article written by Nandi Robinson, from the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development. I would encourage you to read the whole thing, as I only plan to focus on a few points, but it is well worth the read, and will probably make you think twice about that Amazon or Wal-Mart purchase.
The article states that, “small local businesses are the largest employers nationally and create two out of every three new jobs”. That number is staggering if you really stop and consider it. It goes on stating that, “small business employ more than 52 % of the nation’s employees”. What does that mean, it means your local mom and pop places of business are in part, responsible for more jobs than the bigger box stores. And what’s more, the money you spend there is more likely to stay in the community. “When dollars are spent locally, they can be re-spent locally, raising the level of economic activity, paying more salaries, and building the local tax base.” And of course, by spending locally you are reducing environmental impacts. The last point from the article that I will quote states, “reducing how much is bought from national retail chains reduces your ecological footprint because of less materials”. I mean think about what it takes to get that item you bought from Amazon, how often it changed hands before coming to you. And have you ever gotten one of those boxes that are huge, with a little item in it?
Now a mom and pop location is not necessarily the same thing as a small business, which is why I made the statement in the previous paragraph the way I did. Don’t get me wrong, they are small business, just with a twist. According to the Investopedia website, “mom and pop is the term used for businesses and companies that are independently owned and run”. A small business on the other hand, according to an article I found in Forbes magazine states, “depending on the industry, you could have 500, 1,000 or even 1,500 employees and still be considered a ‘small business’”. While a mom and pop is a small business, it is still in a category of its own, as it is generally a family owned and operated business. I think of my dentist, a family run spot, when I started going there the father had the business, he retired, and his son took over. It was great, as he was always around, so it stayed feeling familiar. And that is what you get when you go to these places, they typically remember you, your family, and they usually treat you like their family! Don’t wait, check one out today!!