The Small Business Administration reported in 2013 that there are more than 28.2 million businesses operating in the United States. These businesses created up to 63 percent of the jobs in the country in the years from 1993 to mid-2013. So, technically, small business is big business.

Shopping locally has its benefits. Shop owners are personally invested in their business, thus are more likely to be invested in their customers. Customers can expect a more personalized service where shop owners will go the extra mile to ensure a customer is happy.

Because it can be more difficult for small businesses to stay relevant, they constantly have to work on adding new products to their shelves and new benefits for their customers. While larger retailers tend to focus only on the most popular items, smaller businesses have the freedom to fill smaller niches with less common and more innovative products. This allows customers to find the character they want for a gift or their home.

A smaller sized business will typically have staff more readily available to answer detailed questions about the products and services they sell.

Word of mouth means a lot when it comes to small business advertising, so it’s not surprising that they want every single customer to have a positive experience each and every time. So, you can expect to be greeted with smiling faces and eager help when shopping at a small business.

Supporting small businesses supports the local community by helping to stimulate the local economy. These smaller sized businesses help to create and sustain jobs as well as keep the area vibrant and buzzing with shoppers and tourists.

The support of the community means a great deal to a small business owner, and they typically enjoy returning the favor by participating in fundraisers and holding special events to show their appreciation.

Small business owners will find it advantageous to join the local chamber of commerce and benefit from networking.

— Marla Ballard’s Spotlight on Business appears each Saturday.

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