February 10, 2009
An Opinion Article by Daniel Milligan
Our government is struggling with the economy. It is trying to get people back to work and start the money flowing. The problem is that government can’t do it alone–the economy needs your help too. Wondering what you can do? Spend money on small businesses.
You hear it all the time on the news: Small business drives our economy. It’s true. We are a nation built on small business. The media says this in one breath, and in the next talks about Corporate America and Wall Street, and then we forget all about small businesses. But try not to forget–they provide more jobs and contribute to the flow of money more than anyone else.
I am going to give you an example from my own small business. I help run a small remodeling company that does design/build in Portland, Oregon. When you hire me, this is what you are doing:
First off, you are putting money in my pocket–thank you. Second, when I start putting a job together I go to other small businesses. So for example, lets say you want to remodel your kitchen. I am going to go out and hire someone to do your demo, frame your walls. install your sheetrock, cabinets, flooring, tile, sink, lights, and than paint your new kitchen. That is nine other small business that you just put to work because you hired me.
This means that those companies can support their employees by paying them with your money. Your money becomes their money and their money is than flowing again and your community’s economy is working.
This is true for other small companies as well. Think about the chain of people you effect when you go into your local coffee shop: the baristas, the building owner, the drivers for their deliveries, and their suppliers. And this is just the upfront business, there is more going on behind the scenes.
Small businesses hire other local small businesses to do business with. In my company, we hire graphic designers, print houses, search engine optimizers and a host of other small companies to help with our marketing, insurance, and accounting. In turn they are hiring local people and talent and again the economy is working.
So next time when you have a choice of going to Lowes, Home Depot, Starbucks, or even the Apple Store, look to see if there is a small business to support instead. Go to your local hardware store, or coffee shop or independent computer store. When you support them, they support others in the community and in turn it will help support you too.