Roanoke, Virginia – The American economy is heavily dependent on local businesses. They generate jobs, provide their local communities access to products and services, and boost the region’s overall economic growth. Small businesses can have a big impact on the community by creating jobs and utilizing local products and services to support other local companies.
Without small businesses, the American economy and workforce would be a pretty wild landscape to imagine. Small, local businesses are the backbone of every economy, and such is the case in the United States. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses accounted for 44% of U.S. economic activity annually before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating two-thirds of net new jobs.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many business owners out of businesses, but local businesses recovered, and despite all the difficulties and struggles, the majority of them recovered better than expected. After overcoming lockdowns, closures, strict pandemic measures, limitations, labor shortages, and supply chain issues, every business owner now has to combat high inflation and rising prices and prepare for a potential recession.
Small, locally owned businesses not only boost economic growth but also support the communities where they are established through donations. This trend, however, has slowed in recent years, owing primarily to the fact that many potential customers are now shopping at large retailers such as Amazon, resulting in lower profits for small local businesses. Several Roanoke-based business owners recently decided to speak out publicly and encourage local residents to shop locally and support them, which directly supports the local community.
Speaking to WSLS, a clothing store owner explained that she is aware that shopping online is convenient for many, but she seeks locals to shop locally this holiday season and directly help local businesses grow. Just like many other Roanoke-based business owners, she donates part of the profits and supports the homeless in the area while helping children getting exposed to art and education. You can see the full report here.
In 2019 and 2021, Virginia was named the top state for doing business among all other states, per the CNBC annual ranking. CNBC did not rank the states in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Virginia dropped to third place behind North Carolina and Washington state. For the survey, CNBC said they took into consideration 88 metrics in 10 broad categories of competitiveness, and each category is weighted based on how frequently states use them as a selling point in economic development marketing materials.
Overall, there are many steps that local business owners can take to improve their operations and continue to support the American economy. By focusing on their customers, their products and services, and their overall business strategy, local businesses can be an important part of their local communities and the national economy.