Entrepreneurship continues to evolve as the technological barriers to starting a business fall. This allows entrepreneurs to start a company more easily than in the past. Of course, they still face risks and some difficult decisions when choosing whether or not to start their own business. Yet, it’s definitely an exciting time for modern entrepreneurs.
6 Key Ways Small Businesses Can Positively Impact a Community
Small businesses form the backbone of any community because they bring people together, build the character of a local area, and help regional economies thrive. Think about your local salons and barbershops, laundromats, sandwich shops, banks, even financial service companies. They each bring personality to your community and add something unique while also sharing common values and characteristics. Small businesses contribute to their communities and make a difference in many ways. Some even inspire others because they spark innovation and problem-solving.
Here are six key ways small businesses can positively impact a community.
1. Local Businesses Support Each Other and Help Create a Thriving Community
One of the great ways small businesses can affect their communities is the support they offer each other. You’ll often see local businesses sponsor various youth activities, such as a local restaurant sponsoring the high school soccer game, or other school organizations. Local businesses also tend to support one another through volunteer work, donations, participation in community activities, and simply by shopping at each other’s businesses. There’s a sense of pride in being part of a community and providing quality products and services for the betterment of its residents.
2. Promote Environmental Awareness
Small businesses can also promote and contribute to environmental awareness in many ways. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), multiple small businesses located within walking distance of each other or near residential areas can reduce car pollution and encourage walking. This makes streets safer for both pedestrians and drivers. Small businesses also tend to adopt environmentally friendly practices, such as using more recycled materials, as well as reuse and update old buildings to include more sustainable features.
Many small businesses also focus on incorporating environmentally friendly practices into their products and services. For example, as we learn more about the harmful effects of chemicals found in most cleaning products to our health and the environment, you may have noticed a boom in “green” cleaning products. Some entrepreneurs produce and sell eco-friendly cleaning products to both individuals and businesses. Similarly, “clean” beauty products represent another booming market. An increasing amount of new brands or companies launch cleaner, safer beauty and skincare products. According to The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), reports say that today’s standard cosmetics and skincare products contain more than 900 toxins and chemicals. This is leading more consumers to seek out natural beauty products and brands.
Besides green products, you can also find green service providers like landscapers and cloth diaper laundry services. Many businesses also take an active role in raising awareness about environmentally friendly practices, issues, and other ways to give back to their community. Interested in starting a business that promotes environmental awareness? Read our guide on eco-friendly business ideas.
3. Increase City Revenue to Increase Community Improvements
Local businesses pay local taxes which means more revenue goes back into the community. That additional revenue means more money for improvements to city roads, schools, and other needs. While shopping online is easy, it doesn’t keep tax revenue local. This is a problem many small communities face. Another issue is large warehouses and shopping centers. They often strain local resources rather than create more improvements for the community. The development of these large companies can also stretch a city’s budget.
Owning a small business often supports other small businesses by creating more jobs, making daily needs more accessible and increasing their city’s revenue. Plus, people in the community often feel more inclined to shop at local businesses because they see it as supporting their city, neighbors, and local families. Interested in starting a business in your community but don’t know where to start? Read our article on popular business ideas to get the ball rolling.
4. Expanding the Community by Creating Local Jobs
Local businesses create local jobs. Increasing local businesses means creating more jobs to encourage more people to stay in the area. This not only allows people to work closer to home, but also improves the quality of life for the community by increasing city revenue, creating a more self sustainable community, and connecting the community together. Those who work locally also tend to shop locally because they don’t need to commute away from their city. It’s another way that small businesses can bring communities together.
5. Encourage Entrepreneurship and Independence
Starting a small business means taking charge of your own life and purpose. Successful small businesses inspire others to consider starting their own small businesses, encouraging innovation and healthy competition in your local area.This is essential for any city to thrive and generate new ideas to create diversity in a community.
Another way small businesses encourage entrepreneurship is by providing hiring opportunities to local high schools and community colleges, giving students hands-on experience to learn professional skills and what it takes to run a business. This can help students discover their passion and gain practical experience that they will carry with them. Through hands-on experience, they may even realize issues within their community that they can work to solve or improve. Cultivating and encouraging entrepreneurship in these ways further develops a favorable climate for small businesses.
Entrepreneurship requires a lot of effort and patience, and involves more than just having a good idea. It requires careful assessment along with a willingness to commit time and money into growing your business. Start by thinking about your values and your situation, and that of your community. If you’re considering starting your own business, find a business idea that means something to you and would positively impact your community. Are you passionate about a specific, unmet need or issue in your community? If yes, consider using that as the foundation for your own business. Once you have your idea, you can use our seven step guide to starting a business in any state and get started on your own entrepreneurship journey.
6. Variety in the Type of Small Business Adds to a Community’s Character
From family-owned restaurants and landscapers to local boutiques and childcare services, a wide variety of small businesses can enhance a community’s character. Each small business fills a specific need with a personal touch that often reflects the community around them. Small business owners can connect with their clientele on a more personal level and get to know their needs and desires. This cultivates innovation and healthy competition, allowing different businesses to recognize and fill different niches. Some popular niches new business are trying out include things like tiny houses, Reiki businesses, pet hotels, and aromatherapy businesses. Learn more about these ideas by checking out this 40 unique business ideas article and find the niche that best suits you.
Healthy competition also pushes small businesses to strive for what makes them unique and build stronger customer relationships. Those close customer relationships then encourage honest feedback, allowing business owners to better address their community’s evolving needs and issues. In fact, many entrepreneurs start their own business to address these issues or unmet needs for the benefit of their community. This can encourage more innovation with diverse, locally made products and allows small businesses to tailor their inventory to reflect their community’s specific tastes and demands. Small businesses have more flexibility in what they can carry and provide compared to larger stores and retailers, which may have strict requirements and restrictions regarding what they can and/or must sell. With the ability to freely curate the products they carry, most small business owners have more in-depth knowledge about the products they sell. By knowing the products and services their customers want, need, and like, small businesses can better support their local community.
Small businesses have a great impact on their community. From promoting environmentally friendly practices to boosting the local economy by creating more jobs and revenue for their city or town. Small businesses can also more easily respond to evolving community demands by supporting other small businesses and providing much-needed products and services.