Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tiny Businesses Really Matter

Small businesses. Big businesses. We know that they all make an impact on the economy, jobs, and ultimately, our communities.

However, it's one thing to say that and it's another to experience it firsthand. This being an election year, there's a lot of talk about whether to tax corporations less (or more), the regulations that apply to (and often impede) small businesses, etc. But I'm not here to talk about any of that because--let's face it--I want us to stay friends and it's best not to talk politics.

What I would like to share is this: As the mom of two daughters, 10 & 13, I spend a lot of time at their dancing school. And when I say a lot, I don't mean a quick jaunt for one hour here and there. I mean that I've considered selling my house and simply living in my car in the parking lot of Studio Five Dance Company, because I might as well.

It's a great dancing school and I love my kids participating in their classes and events, but that's not the point. The point is, this very small business makes a pretty decent impact on the local economy!

Since I am, by far, not the only parent who spends so much time there, we see one another throughout the hours while we're waiting for our kids: At the local gas station, pharmacy, Wendy's, BoJangles, nail place, etc. We're everywhere! And not only do I see the people I know, but I also notice the cars of additional families (because of course we all have a S5DC magnet proudly displayed on our vehicles).

Now, it is true that we would all still food shop even if our kids weren't at the dancing school. But the fact is, we wouldn't food shop there... we'd shop near our homes! Instead, the surrounding community benefits from the purchases we all make because we're there, waiting anyhow, and might as well get some errands done.

Thankfully, most towns have many of these small businesses, so it all works out in the end. But the thought process I have--especially in this election year, and also because I've always owned by own business--is this: If small businesses make such a great impact, why is everything made so difficult for them? They're not allowed to have significant signage, they have to get a permit to put up a banner during registration season, they have to pay extra for everything, and the red tape involved with seemingly every small task is nearly insurmountable!

All I have to say is, Thank goodness they and all the other small businesses are willing to go through all that. Because we all benefit in big ways.

Oh yeah, I guess I do have more to say... don't forget to vote!

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