Small Business Saturday: Supporting Ohio’s backbone

By Mary Kuhlman - Ohio News Connection

COLUMBUS – Small businesses in Ohio are hopeful that Black Friday’s shopping momentum will carry into Saturday. Today is Small Business Saturday, a day encouraging holiday shoppers to patronize the little guys.

Martin Golden, district director with the U.S. Small Business Administration in Columbus, says small businesses are the backbone of Ohio, making up almost 50 percent of the employment in the state.

He adds visiting locally owned stores and restaurants pays off for Ohio communities.

“The dollars that are spent on local small businesses contribute to the health of our local community and their financial ecosystems,” says Golden. “None of the profits of those small businesses get repatriated either out of the community, out of the state or out of the country.”

Golden says $45 of every $100 spent in a locally owned store is returned to the community compared to just $14 at big box retailers. On Small Business Saturday, many stores are offering special sales for shoppers.

While small businesses do not have the resources to advertise as widely as the big guys, Golden contends that the little guys’ sales promotions should not be discounted. He says locally-owned stores typically have unique offerings and services.

“The small business owners tend to be more in contact with the local people so the decisions on what to stock are not necessarily made in the corporate headquarters elsewhere,” says Golden. “I think if you find that special gift, you’re more likely to find that in a local small business.”

Golden adds, owning a small business is rewarding but often challenging.

“Of course they have to compete against bigger companies, which often have greater resources to get the word out about themselves and often times pay lower wages,” he says. “So from a wage standpoint they have competition as well.”

Data from the U.S. Small Business Administration show there were almost 28 million small businesses in the country in 2014, and more than two million Ohioans employed by a small business.

By Mary Kuhlman

Ohio News Connection