I still remember the days of the corner independently owned drug store, hardware store and video store. I am also a product of those days, as my father owned a small bicycle store, which was started by his father.
I miss the days of being able to walk into one of those businesses where, like in Cheers, everyone knew my name. That’s why Small Business Saturday, which will be celebrated this year on Nov. 29, takes on an even more special meaning for me. Nearly two years ago I caught the entrepreneurial bug and started my own public relations firm.
Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 as a way to support local businesses and to recognize that entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. While it has traditionally focused on retail sales from small brick-and-mortar businesses, that’s not to say it cannot include service-oriented companies, i.e. the solo practice attorney, independent insurance agent or even a public relations firm.
Statistics indicate that the country's 28 million small firms employ 60 million Americans, or half of the private sector workforce. Small businesses contribute to the economy year-round. If you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy, that’s $25 more than if you spend your money at a large business, according to Small Business Saturday statistics.
Small businesses have a bigger stake in the communities they serve. They also have more to lose if their service is poor. Small businesses often try harder to exceed expectations because they know whom they are up against. Indeed, all of my clients also are small businesses that recognize the need to be competitive in today’s business environment.
We are the generation of super-sized meals, big box stores and cars with enough room to seat eight. This year, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday consider supporting your local business during Small Business Saturday and show everyone that bigger isn’t always better.
Susan R. Miller is founder of Garton-Miller Media, a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Susan is a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience. She has written for local, state and national publications. Her clients include attorneys, non-profit organizations and healthcare professionals.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.