From the earliest days of our country, small businesses were the backbone of the American economy. Investments were made locally through the informal networks of investors and merchants. Industries were built and regions prospered through locals investing, buying and trading with the companies they believed in. But we don’t live in colonial times any longer. We can still support the business owners and entrepreneurs who provide great services and quality products and there are plenty in our own backyards. What if we committed to supporting small businesses? What if we committed to keeping money in our local economies that would help create more jobs, cut down on packaging and transportation waste, and put working capital back into the hands of Main Street America?
Here’s three reasons why you should consider supporting small businesses:
1. Small Businesses Increase National Employment
Small businesses employ more than 77 million Americans and account for 65 percent of all net new jobs since 1995, according to the Small Business Administration. While chain stores provide positions for clerks and cashiers, small businesses are able to hire accountants, graphic designers, and other skilled professionals.
Veteran-owned small business contribute to the growing number of national employment. Veteran small businesses employed 5.8 million employees and had an annual payroll of $210 billion, according to the SBA. Veterans own firms in several industries including construction, professional, scientific, technical services and government contracting. Additionally, the government sets aside 3 percent of its contracts for Service Disable Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB). If the government is supporting small businesses, we know it’s a good cause and contributes greatly to the U.S. economy.
2. Small Businesses Build Community
Locally owned small-businesses gives communities their unique personality and flavor. When you know the person you’re buying from, you trust them and the quality of their product. Small businesses typically contribute to the charities in their local community as well. They may support or donate to local Boys & Girls Club, neighborhood schools or give back to homeless shelters
Some franchises can often be considered a small business as they are owned locally and contribute to the local community. For example, Juice It Up, a locally-owned smoothie franchise hosts special events at public schools and donates $1 of every smoothie it sells to the school district. Other franchise businesses like Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins and Firehouse Subs have created specific nonprofit foundations. The Joy in Childhood Foundation by Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins helps children facing hunger and sickness to find joy in their daily lives. The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has donated $20 million to the improvement of life-saving capabilities of fire stations and firefighters.
3. Small Businesses Need Your Support
Small business owners are living the American Dream, but the dream can’t last if no one invests in that dream with them. According to the Federal Reserve, banks have been exiting the small business lending market for more than a decade due to increases in lending regulations. This leaves a gap for those businesses looking for working capital to keep their companies alive and thriving.
At StreetShares, we believe small businesses are good for the economy and good for America. We believe every small business should have the chance to receive the capital they need to keep the ball rolling. We believe every go-getting, risk-taking small business owner should have a whole community of individuals investing in and buying from the businesses they believe in.
Believing and investing in veteran-owned small businesses is the heart of StreetShares. We are the nation's first publicly-accessible small business funding for the military community. Any American can open a Veteran Business Bond account and invest as little as $25 in small businesses who are taking out small business loans or lines of credit from StreetShares. Investors can put up to $25,000 in their accounts and know that money is going straight to small businesses. VetBizBonds pay a 5% interest rate and can be withdrawn at any time, some fees may apply.
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