It is a piece of common knowledge that one should support their local small businesses. But it is more than just friends helping friends and neighbours helping neighbours. Small businesses play a crucial role in a country’s economy and contribute to its GDP (gross domestic product). In fact, 57% of Australia’s GDP comes from small and medium enterprises. This is not the only way small businesses benefit local communities; the list is seemingly endless. Nevertheless, I have listed down five of the most important ones here:
Small businesses create jobs for the local community
The biggest way small businesses help local communities is by creating jobs. Did you know that as of June 2018, five million people were employed by small businesses in Australia? It is not just small businesses needing people for their own processes but they need other small local businesses to do their bidding too, thus creating more jobs. For instance, a small restaurant would need fresh groceries, which it will more likely buy from local grocery stores rather than big hypermarkets. This demand will encourage small grocery businesses to open up in the vicinity that will need and employ people to deliver the goods. In this process opportunities for a whole community of local businesses and jobs will be created.
Increases valuation of a locality
Would you like to stay at a place that has no shops or amenities within its 20km radius? No one likes to drive half an hour every time they need a box of tissue or for a quick cup of coffee. Small businesses not only ensure that a place is worthy of living for humans but also increases the valuation of an area. With local stores, the locality becomes safer, more vibrant and generally more convenient. They lend character and personality to a place, making it more liveable and loveable.
Encourages healthy local competition
Small businesses completely depend on their customers’ reviews and feedback. This initiates healthy competition among local businesses vying to create a space for themselves. But how does this benefit a community? The quality of the products and services improve manifold when there is competition among business owners. This healthy competition also leads to great innovation, which again profits the local community.
Money circulating within the community
Local small businesses pay local taxes which are then used to create as well as maintain infrastructures such as roads and buildings. This in turn immensely improves the quality of the life for the local community. When you buy and support small businesses, you are actually helping the money stay within your local community’s economy instead of when you spend on big international brands. Local business owners also contribute to the upliftment of the local communities, seeing how it directly affects their business. They will spend money on the improvement of the community spaces, volunteer for local services and thus help benefit the local community as a whole.
Big shopping spaces requires extensive infrastructure. From centralized aircon to large spaces. It does not require saying that this infrastructure costs the environment dearly. Trees are cut down to create spaces, old buildings are torn down, the roads around the shopping areas become busier and the list goes on. Small businesses, on the other hand, usually make use of older small buildings and by opening their shops, beautify them. The heritage and sanity of the community is preserved while the environment benefits too.
There are other different ways small businesses benefit the local communities. Which is why it is our duty as consumers to keep these businesses active and thriving. We will not only be helping small business owners keep their dreams alive but we would be actually helping ourselves. Search for small businesses in your area and make a difference!