Support your local small businesses

Small Business Week, May 12 to 16, is celebrated throughout the country to bring recognition to small businesses that contribute to our local economy.

While some look at our small communities and complain about the lack of jobs and high taxes, they should instead focus on what we do have. They should also know we could improve the situation if we were more supportive of our local small businesses and how much they contribute. We need to recognize that small businesses create jobs for our families and neighbors. They also help lower our property taxes by providing for more sales tax revenues.

Small business is big, and getting bigger nationwide. According to the Small Business Association, big business has eliminated 4 million jobs since 1990 while small businesses added 8 million new jobs. The number of small businesses in the United States has increased 49 percent since 1982. The nation’s 23 million small businesses account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales and 55 percent of all jobs.

We shouldn’t forget or take undue advantage of our small businesses’ contributions to the community. These local businesses donate to so many community projects, and in thanks we should patronize them at every opportunity. With all the challenges small businesses have – such as the tough economy, growing competition from the Internet and a sparsely populated market area – there is the added strain of mud season and road construction to contend with. Therefore, in order to sustain or even grow our local economy, it is important to invest in it by spending money locally and being mindful that it benefits us and our future in the long run.

The Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, along with its new partners in the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce, will celebrate Small Business Week next week with a daily calendar of events. But those are mostly for business people themselves. For the general public, the week is a good reminder to support local businesses.

We encourage you to support any of the 23 million small businesses in America by shopping, eating and attending events. You will discover many benefits in your backyard, and you’ll help your community and your nation at the same time.