There are many platitudes about gratitude. At first blush, gratitude can seem simply pollyanna or even spoof-worthy. It’s easy to write it off as the comfort zone of eternal optimists…until you try it.(more…)
If you look back over the course of history, you’ll see that America was built off the success of small businesses. The expansion of our country was made possible by entrepreneurs and small business owners alike. For many, the American dream still consists of breaking free from the rigors of being an employee and starting to work for yourself. Some entrepreneurs create small businesses with aspirations of becoming the next Bill Gates, others simply want to be their own boss and take control of their life. To this day, small businesses remain an integral component to our nation’s economy and their impact is anything but small.
From 2000-2017, small businesses were responsible for creating a total of 8.4 million new jobs. Larger businesses over that same period of time only generated 4.4 million jobs, which means small businesses were responsible with creating two-thirds of new jobs! As the country begins to reopen and combats COVID-19, the success of small businesses will be a good barometer to gauge the health of the economy.
One of the most important things a small business does is employ local workers. Small businesses bring growth and prosperity to communities of all sizes. By helping stimulate the economies that they are embedded within, small businesses can be looked at as a catalyst for economic prosperity.
When money is spent at local small businesses, a portion of the money spent is redistributed back to the community in the form of taxes. These taxes help maintain the local infrastructure by helping to pay for things like local schools and other social programs. By spending locally, you’re indirectly investing back into your community. This type of spending is critical to our communities now more than ever. In order for communities to thrive, the small businesses within it must be successful to help support the economic ecosystem.
Innovation and Growth
Small businesses provide an opportunity for new ideas to come to fruition. As anyone who watches Shark Tank can attest to, any good idea must start somewhere. Small businesses and startup companies can leverage their innovative ideas to work with other local businesses to help improve efficiencies and productivity. As these small businesses unveil their new solutions and showcase their intellectual property, larger businesses within the community can benefit as well. Small businesses often play critical roles for bigger businesses by helping support their supply chain needs and/or other business activities that are being outsourced.
Small businesses across main street America are the economic engine that make our country go. From the rural mountain towns in Vermont to the big cities in Texas, small businesses create opportunities for employment and bring growth potential to the communities in which they are embedded. In times of economic turmoil, it’s imperative that small businesses continue to receive support from the communities they helped grow. That is how we all contribute to economic vitality. When we support small businesses, we help to weave a web of financial prosperity that is bigger than we are with a powerful ripple effect.
Springtime in Vermont is an exercise in frustration. The temperature can swing thirty degrees in what feels like thirty minutes. The many dirt roads transform from chocolate pudding to Bryce Canyon overnight. I can barely get through the door to my family’s mudroom (yes, we have a room for that) through the dozens of jackets, boots and orphaned gloves we keep on-hand to meet each freak snowstorm. Or picnic day. You never know.(more…)
At one point or another during this pandemic, we have all stood in a grocery store staring disbelievingly at an empty shelf where our once reliable necessities took up space. We have witnessed firsthand the strain on our food supply and the severe demand grocery distribution is undergoing where resources are needed most, in our homes, on our plates, and in our bellies. Our current crisis shines a light on the local food movement and the things we can take into our own hands to aid in its sustainability.(more…)