News reports of the D.C. celebrations this week around small businesses prompted me to remember my grandfather. He was a small business owner who farmed and ran a country store.
Most of the business fuel that powers the U.S. economic engine is local, small businesses like my grandfather’s. These owners are the people we sit beside at the school’s PTO meeting, sing “Amazing Grace” with on Sundays in an adjacent pew, and will stand in line with come the November elections.
So while the Small Business Administration captures most of the national news this week touting small businesses via sound bytes, what do you say we make some news of our own?
What if we actually do something profitable that creates a Work Positive difference for our friends slogging through the daily mud of running a business?
Here are 3 small business investments you can make this week that pay immediate dividends:
Invest in local food products
One of the better government initiatives comes from the USDA’s support of locally grown food products. This direct-to-market approach is an ancient-future strategy as my grandfather sold garden-grown tomatoes in his country store. Also, he sold his milk to a regional cooperative that produced dairy products like ice cream and milk. Of course, their products tasted better to me because I knew the cows personally…
Who grows blueberries in your neck of the woods? Or, raises grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef? Or, free-range chickens and eggs? Or, honey?
In addition to a host of benefits like freshness, you receive the satisfaction of knowing that as you invest in these local food products, you support small business owners in your local community.
Invest in local home products
When I renovated an apartment for renting, I could have installed pre-fab cabinets made in a factory somewhere far away. But I remembered my grandfather doing business with a local craftsman who built everything from knotty pine cabinets to pole barns. This small business owner, like my grandfather, employed local citizens from the community, did good work, and that’s why he was the go-to guy.
Installing new cabinets? Find a local craftsman. He can probably build furniture, also. Discover work by local artisans whether it’s paintings or pottery to decorate your home. Oftentimes, they accept commissioned work.
Besides excellence in craftsmanship, you develop a relationship with the small business owner as you invest in unique, local home products. Hand out business cards when your friends compliment your décor.
Invest in local entertainment
That local band playing for the Relay for Life fundraiser in your community all have day jobs. They play to support the community, laced with dreams of the big-stage. Buy a CD from them. Maroon 5 or Carrie Underwood won’t miss it.
Those kids in the Summer Theater have rehearsed for weeks to perform. Sure, you can drive to an off-Broadway production of Wicked. Invest in the future stardom of a potential Tony-award winner from your hometown.
I love watching my nephew, Dan Uggla, start at second base for the Braves when I travel to Atlanta. But I also love watching the Rookie League Braves play in my hometown. The hot dogs are just as good as I support Wayne who runs the concessions that my daughter’s friend, Jennifer, serves as one of her summer jobs.
As you invest in local entertainment, you give a big-thumbs up to small business owners.