The Impact of Small Business on Community

From sponsoring the high school football rivalry game to hosting community events, small businesses and franchises have an important impact on their communities.

But right now, small businesses are upended. At the end of March, as the country was swept up in statewide lockdowns due to COVID-19, small businesses cut hourly workers by 68 percent. Millions of those small businesses may face permanent closure.

While we won’t know the pandemic’s full effects on small businesses for quite some time, we know small businesses matter. So let’s reflect on a symbiotic relationship: Why are small businesses important to a community, especially now? And why is community important to their survival?


Portrait of smiling female small business owner using laptop and looking at camera in flower shop, copy space

Small businesses have a huge impact on their communities.


The Importance of Small Business in Our Economy


With the help of social media and other highly approachable marketing avenues, it may seem that small businesses crop up overnight. But don’t let that fool you. There are extremely hardworking people behind each company, enabling them to employ our nation.

Small businesses account for 64 percent of the private sector work force. –

The impact of small business on a community goes beyond employment. Small businesses are also more likely to keep their money in the community they serve.

For example, when you spend $100 at a small local business, only $32 of those dollars leave your community. When you spend $100 at a big business, $57 leaves the local economy.

When big businesses need to stock shelves or hire employees, they typically outsource or buy from other big businesses. But local business owners tend to support other local business owners by stocking local. Think of all the restaurants in Traverse City that buy their produce from local farms.


Small Businesses and Community Livelihood


Besides being important for the economy, how do small businesses help the community?

  • Educational opportunities – Our sister company, Oneupweb, regularly sends speakers to give presentations around town. At SCORE, for example, other small business owners get to hear from professionals who can answer their questions. Even if you just host a meetup with other local business owners in the same industry to discuss changes, you’re making connections and educating each other.
  • Fundraising or sponsorships – There are so many opportunities for local businesses to support the community through fundraising or sponsorship. For example, small businesses may host a food drive or sponsor an athletic game between hometown rivals.
  • Community leadership – The small business owners who are lucky to have the time to attend board meetings, city council sessions and so on have great opportunities to directly impact how a community functions. Your voice can make your community better for everyone.

A community is an ecosystem – when we all work together, good things happen. Small businesses can help keep the community thriving, and consumers can support small businesses by buying local and spreading the word.


How Can Small Businesses Help the Community Right Now?


In Traverse City, home of PointA, we’ve already seen small businesses jump to the front lines of helping the community during the pandemic.

From holding fundraisers to just being more engaged with customers via social media, many small businesses are using this time wisely to impact their community in important ways. Here are a few examples from our town:


The Good Bowl Gives to Others in Food Service


The Good Bowl is a Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Traverse City that always puts fundraising and community impact on the menu.

Typically, customers give $1 of their food purchases to a local, national or worldwide organization chosen by The Good Bowl each month.

During this time, however, they took their charity work to the next level by raising money for other food service and hospitality businesses with their Hospitality Relief Fund, which has already exceeded its goal of $7,500.


T-Shirts for Support


Another example of a Traverse City small business helping the community revolves around T-shirts.

Two t-shirt companies, Roth Shirt Co. and Tee See Tee, have new product lines that give money back to non-essential businesses that are struggling.


Not All About Money – Local Business Owners Offer Support to Each Other


While it’s great when local businesses can donate to other local businesses, not everyone is in a position to do so. That doesn’t mean that their work in the community is any less important. Often, the connections forged between business owners end up being the most supportive.

One group of local small business owners gathered to host a virtual Q&A with the community to discuss challenges facing small businesses during COVID-19. It didn’t cost a dime to set up the meeting, and it fostered connections among a larger group of small businesses that could make an impact in the community for years. They will get through this together.


Your Support System


While it’s easy to suggest fundraising and getting more involved in the community, that can be hard when your world has been flipped upside down.

There are a lot of ways to make your business’s relationship with the community more important. PointA is a small business too, and like our sister company, Oneupweb, we tend to hire Michigan and local employees to keep the community thriving.

PointA was created to give more marketing support to our community’s small businesses. So if you’re in that spot right now, let us help you. Reach out online or call (231) 882-1100 and let us know what you’re looking for right now.

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