NASE News

7 Benefits Small Businesses Bring to a Community

As an entrepreneur, you recognize you are providing a valuable service to your consumers or customers. In fact, you are passionate about giving high-quality goods or services to each one you interact with. Having your own small business pays the bills, gives you freedom, and allows you a creative outlet. And while being a small business owner or self-employed may be fraught with difficulties, there are reasons your work is vital for more than your family.

According to the US Census, there are 30 million small businesses in America alone. While this includes a wide range of company sizes, it also contains those solopreneurs. All these micro-businesses and other small, local companies directly affect their locale through spending, hiring, and outreach efforts. At the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), we consider micro-businesses to be any that has under ten employees.

We often hear quotes about small businesses and micro-businesses driving the economy, but what exactly does that mean? How does your profession affect your corner of the world?

1. Economy
A micro business owner pays taxes to their township and state. Keeping these funds in the area allows the community to fund beneficial projects for the neighborhoods. More dollars to spend equals better schools, hospitals, and sidewalks for your town.

When you purchase from a resident’s business, your money goes directly to your community’s coffers. Essentially, you are funding your region’s prospects, enhancing the area for your family.

Now, think further about this. A well-maintained town with quality services attracts more of the same: top-notch professionals, families, even concerts, or tourism. Your actions affect the whole town or city.

2. Employees
Did you ever imagine managing employees? If you operate a micro business and are looking for assistance, you turn first to your inner circle, including neighbors. Employing those in your locality goes together with number one. When you are ready, help unemployment rates by taking on a part-time worker who lives nearby.

Another option is to hire a fellow freelancer. Hiring a proofreader, website designer, or social media marketer online allows someone else to design their life, just like you are.

3. Flexibility
Self-employment allows more citizens the opportunity to contribute to our economy.

35 million Americans take care of parents while trying to raise a family and pay bills. These elderly folks may require frequent doctor appointments or constant supervision, making it difficult to hold a traditional 9-5 job.

Others may not fit the “office mold.” Perhaps they are unable to sit or stand for required amounts of time. Some workers function best in mid-afternoon or late at night. Parents with young children battle the dilemma of daycare.

Starting a small business, driving for Uber or Lyft, becoming a Shipt shopper, or working as an online chat agent, allows you to be self-employed, contribute to your family, and help your local economy on your own schedule.

4. Loyal Customers
You look Edna and Roger in the eyes as you purchase their homegrown vegetables. You contact Lisa to design a unique necklace for a special birthday gift. Tom, the CPA, who handles your notary needs on the weekends, always remembers to ask about your daughter.

Knowing your providers adds an additional bond with each interaction. Likewise, you are someone else’s “Lisa,” cultivating relationships that may last years. When you produce a top-quality product or provide a valued service to a customer, you have a chance to make a human connection. This bond is missing in our wired world, and you can be a change agent.

5. New Ideas
We have all heard a friend or neighbor dream up a bright idea to solve a common problem: a sponge that doesn’t scratch surfaces, skincare for those with sensitive skin, magnetic clips to hold your eyeglasses.

While these three folks pursued their designs all the way to Shark Tank, others operate in their basements or living rooms. Becoming a small business owner is one way to bring these inventions and solutions to people. Interestingly, a higher percentage of patents are issued to small businesses than large ones.

Even without a TV show, our 24/7/365 accessibility provides countless opportunities. Creating a YouTube channel, advertising on Facebook, posting on Twitter, all serve as strategic marketing plans for your business. This brings new eyes to your smart idea. Now, convert them into customers!

6. Reduce Pollution
You don’t need to hop in your car for a lengthy commute if you operate a small business. Chances are, you will be near, if not in, your home. Those that take advantage of your services may do so online or be in the vicinity, further limiting the carbon footprint.

And pollution is still a serious concern. Global warming, pollution, recycling, reusing, severe temperature changes all sound overwhelming. If we break it down, each of us can help save our planet, our crops, and our wildlife. Not driving to work is a great way to start!

7. Community Service/Volunteerism
Almost half of the microbusinesses contribute to their community through money or time. If we ponder that for a minute, it is remarkable.

When you are starting your business, the idea of having any money to spare seems laughable. But, upon further introspection, it makes sense. If you set yourself up as a giving local neighbor, you enhance your reputation. And it is okay to think tiny.

Not all volunteerism is monetary. Is there a community walk or parade each May? Sign on to participate or help. Purchase a cheap t-shirt at the craft store in your brand’s colors and consider it a marketing expense. Then, march proudly along with your neighbors.

Do your neighborhood churches sponsor clothing drives? Are your area schools holding car washes for funds? Any bake sales coming up for the firehouse? Jump in and offer to drive donations to shelters, bake your grandma’s famous snickerdoodles, or display event signs in your yard. With a tiny bit of effort, you can easily find one event to contribute to.

As you continue growing your business, your donations can, too!

At NASE we get the struggles you face each week. As 2020 arrives, 27 million Americans will be self-employed. With those numbers, thousands of local towns will reap an array of benefits. What a trend-setter you are! We appreciate your efforts to improve your life and your community.