Monthly Archives: October 2015

Small Businesses Are a Big Deal

With Small Business Saturday fast approaching, Backyard Buddy would like to salute and celebrate our fellow small businesses for their incredible impact!  Some may be unaware of it, but small business is a huge driver for the American economy, both at the national level and (especially) locally. The vital role of small businesses and their entrepreneurial owners is irreplaceable and should not go unnoticed.

When most people think of business at the national level, their minds probably jump to the “big box” stores like Wal-Mart, Costco, and the like. While these stores also have many benefits, did you know that small businesses are making an even bigger impact than these titans in the workforce?  According to the US Small Business Administration, small businesses have created approximately 63% of all new jobs in America since 1993. That means they outpace the big box stores by almost two to one in terms of job creation—truly a success worth celebrating!

The vital impact of small business goes much deeper than just the national level, though. Small businesses are almost always the biggest benefit to local communities. The main reason is that they tend to provide higher incomes to people in the community, thereby stimulating long-term economic growth and health in the area. To illustrate this point, consider that about 75 cents out of every dollar spent at a large national retailer often goes back to that company’s corporate headquarters located elsewhere. That’s like taking money directly out of a community, and it may actually serve to depress local economy at the expense of the national!

On the other hand, small businesses have the reverse ratio—usually at least 75 cents of every dollar spent at a small, local business stays in the community. That leads to many benefits, such as increased charitable giving to the city’s important causes, more tax dollars helping support local infrastructure, and more jobs and income for local residents.  Those things in turn make the community safer, cleaner, wealthier and more attractive to other new businesses and entrepreneurs. It’s a cyle of prosperity, and small business drives it.

Even beyond all the numbers, small businesses give a community character and atmosphere that the big, national stores just cannot produce. Studies show that people trust small businesses more than large chains (and rightly so!), and everyone appreciates being treated like a real person rather than like part of a machine—for example, the way every person who calls or visits Backyard Buddy will get to speak to a real person who can quickly and accurately answer their real questions!  Small businesses also offer specific selections that national retailers may not, and they certainly look nicer on the streets of the community.  For all these reasons and more, Backyard Buddy celebrates small business, and we will continue to help drive the national and local economy alongside our fellow great small businesses!

Small Business Saturday

There’s really nothing like a traditional American Thanksgiving — turkey, pumpkin pie, family, football, standing in line outside of a big box store at 4:00 pm…

OK, let’s scratch the last one.

We can’t begrudge retailers for wanting people to do a lot of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. A lot of people have the day off, Christmas is about a month away, and businesses need to finish out the year with a bang. But in the last few years, Black Friday has turned into “miss Thanksgiving Thursday” as stores started opening at midnight, then 10:00 pm, then 8:00 pm, and now are opening by mid-afternoon on Thanksgiving day.

The result? People missing time with their families to stand out in the cold for the chance to get a deal on some cheap, Chinese electronics…people being trampled (and even killed!) by crowds rushing into a big box store to get to this year’s hot toy…entire families up all night in a frenzy of shopping. There’s really no way to describe this new trend, but insane.

The solution to this insanity? Small Business Saturday.

As you may have guessed from the name, Small Business Saturday is a movement to skip Black Friday sales and support local small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving. First observed in 2010, Small Business Saturday has gained a groundswell of support from businesses, advocacy organizations, and even the President in its first five years.

The National Federation of Independent Business and American Express reported that 88 million people participated in last year’s Small Business Saturday, up nearly 15% from 2013. These consumers spent $14.3 billion at local small businesses and restaurants on that one day, a major boom for small businesses. These are the businesses that account for between 60 to 80 percent of all American jobs and pay more than $2 trillion in salaries every year.

If you’ve read our blog, you know that Backyard Buddy is proud to stand up for American workers and American small businesses. We fully support Small Business Saturday, and encourage you to skip the big box insanity this year and instead visit some locally-owned businesses. Go to www.shopsmallnow.com to search for local businesses that are participating in Small Business Saturday, and to find deals in your area.

We also encourage our fellow small businesses to participate. Visit shopsmall.com to join the movement and get personalized marketing materials for your business. The site will also connect you with “Neighborhood Champions” who are groups, organizations, and businesses that rally neighborhood support and plan local events for the day.

So this Thanksgiving, loosen your belt, have an extra slice of pie, and pick a side in the evening’s Bears/Packers game. Then enjoy a nice relaxing Friday while you rest up for some Small Business Saturday shopping. And just a reminder: a Backyard Buddy lift would make a great holiday gift for the mechanic in your life. They even come in Christmas-appropriate red.