Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, employing millions of people and driving innovation in countless industries. However, these businesses often struggle to compete with larger corporations, which can have a devastating impact on the local economy. That’s why it’s so important to support local businesses wherever possible. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of our favorite local support schemes that are helping to boost small businesses in communities around the world.
Giving a Hand to Local Businesses
One of the best ways to support local businesses is to simply shop at them. By choosing to spend your money at a locally-owned store instead of a big box retailer, you’re helping to keep money in the local economy and supporting the livelihoods of your neighbors. Another way to support small businesses is to spread the word about them. This can be as simple as leaving a positive review online or telling a friend about your favorite local coffee shop.
Another important way to support local businesses is to advocate for policies that help small businesses thrive. This might mean attending city council meetings and voicing your support for zoning laws that allow for more small businesses to open up shop or supporting state-level initiatives that offer tax breaks to small businesses. By working together, we can create an environment where small businesses can flourish.
Create a Small Business Development Center Municipalities can create a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to offer resources and guidance to local entrepreneurs. SBDCs provide training and assistance in areas such as business planning, marketing, and finance. They can also provide access to funding sources, such as grants or loans. This type of center can be a valuable resource for small businesses looking to grow and thrive.
Host Business Incubator Programs Business incubator programs provide a supportive environment for start-ups and small businesses. These programs offer low-cost office space, business mentoring, and networking opportunities. They can help businesses get off the ground and lead to the creation of successful companies. Municipalities can launch these programs to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow their companies.
Offer Tax Incentives Municipalities can offer tax incentives to local businesses to encourage them to stay and grow in the community. For example, property tax abatements, sales tax exemptions, and job creation tax credits can help incentivize businesses to expand and create jobs. These incentives can help businesses thrive while boosting the local economy.
Create Buy Local Campaigns Municipalities can launch buy local campaigns to encourage residents to shop at local businesses. These campaigns can include initiatives like “Shop Small Saturday” and “Local Business Week.” They can help raise awareness about the importance of supporting local businesses and drive more traffic to these establishments.
Collaborate with Local Businesses Municipalities can form collaborative partnerships with local businesses, non-profits, and other organizations. These partnerships can result in innovative initiatives, such as shared marketing campaigns and community events. By working together, municipalities and local businesses can leverage each other’s strengths and create a more vibrant and prosperous local economy.
Municipalities can support local businesses in creative and innovative ways. By creating SBDCs, hosting business incubator programs, offering tax incentives, launching buy local campaigns, and collaborating with local businesses, municipalities can help entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed. These efforts can lead to a more vibrant and prosperous local economy and a stronger and more connected community.
Celebrating the Best Support Programs 🎉
There are countless support programs out there that are helping to boost small businesses. One of our favorites is the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development Program, which provides mentorship, training, and access to government contracts to qualifying small businesses. Another great program is SCORE, which connects small business owners with experienced mentors who can offer guidance on everything from marketing to financing.
Locally, many communities have created their own support programs for small businesses. For example, the City of Austin’s Small Business Program offers a variety of resources, including one-on-one counseling and assistance with securing loans. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Motor City Match program provides grants and loans to small businesses that are looking to start or expand in the city. These programs are essential for helping small businesses get the support they need to succeed.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and they need our support now more than ever. By shopping local, advocating for small business-friendly policies, and taking advantage of the many support programs that are available, we can ensure that our local economies remain strong and vibrant for years to come. So next time you’re out and about, consider stopping by a local store instead of a big box retailer, and don’t forget to spread the word about your favorite small businesses. Together, we can make a real difference.