Strengthening Our Communities By Supporting Small Businesses
Photo: Through the Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative’s Entrepreneur Mentoring Program, the Brooklyn-based crepe factory, Crepini, has increased their revenue by 39 percent since participating in the program.
While thousands of people wake up very early the day after Thanksgiving (some may not even go to sleep) in pursuit of the best shopping deals at major retail stores, small businesses across the country are preparing for the holiday season, a crucial time for them as sales generated during this time can contribute to as much as 20 percent of their annual revenue.
To help kick off the holiday season, Small Business Saturday, which falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was established in 2010. Small Business Saturday is a day for us to support the local businesses we value by buying local and also helping these businesses acquire new clients by encouraging our friends and neighbors to do the same. Last year during Small Business Saturday, more than 100 million Americans supported their local small businesses.
But supporting our local shops and restaurants should not end with Small Business Saturday. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll. Over the past two decades, small businesses have generated 65 percent of net new jobs, and today, more than half of all working Americans either own or work for a small business.
However, new businesses face a tough reality in that about half of them will not survive past the first five years, and approximately 2 out of 10 new businesses will survive 15 years or more.
Especially during the holiday season, many local small businesses can feel the competition from big-box stores, and so we must do our part to invest back into our communities by supporting the small businesses within our neighborhoods. By doing this, we each can play a part in helping them to grow their businesses resulting in the creation of good jobs within the local community.
The Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Economic Opportunity Initiative (CEO) works with small business owners to help them do this by connecting them with highly successful entrepreneurs within their cities and communities who serve as Mentors that help them navigate through their business challenges that may be impacting their business growth. Through programs that provide entrepreneurs with support, ideas, and tools that can help them succeed in the marketplace, CEO aims to empower growing businesses, support job creation, and promote lasting economic development.
The core of CEO’s programs recognizes that while many entrepreneurs and small business owners have the foundation and ideas for a successful business, additional support and tools may be necessary to grow and succeed. CEO’s programs are built upon the understanding that as Americans, we can all play a role in strengthening our local economies by supporting and strengthening the core of cities and communities: small businesses.
This holiday season, we can support our neighbors and communities by patronizing the locally-owned businesses that are so vital to our economy.