Have you ever wondered how much of an impact small businesses can have on a community? HUGE! They have a great impact on their local economy by providing jobs in the local area. When local residents shop in local stores, their tax dollars are put back into the local community. Those local shops in turn are more likely to shop from local distributors in the area – thus growing the economy in that community.
As part owner of a local independent insurance agency with offices in three different city locations, I understand the impact other small business owners have in these communities. Because we would like our community members to shop their insurance locally at an agency like ours, we like to shop at the local boutiques and eat at the local diners. Some of these businesses are even our customers and it’s always nice to stop in and see how the business is doing as well as those that work there.
We like to think that our employees are grateful to work for a small business like ours because they often have the opportunity to expand their job roles, which in turn broadens their skill sets. A small business is more personable and gives us the opportunity to get to know our staff better, as well as get to know our customers by face and name when they walk through the front door.
One thing that our agency loves to do is get involved in the communities that we serve. From the Fish Fly Festival we enjoy sponsoring in the summer to the Santa Parade we love to walk in the winter, we find that showing our support gives us a sense of belonging within the community.
So my questions to you are this: When you go out to lunch do you pick to eat at the chain restaurant, or do you enjoy eating at the local diner where the wait staff knows you by name and face? When you run to the mall to shop for a new outfit, do you get the same customer experience as you would have shopping at your local boutique? And when you shop your insurance, do you get the same generic responses to all of your insurance questions from a representative on the phone? Or does your local agent take the time to answer your questions if you randomly stop into the office on a Friday afternoon? It seems to me that the local small businesses tend to make more time for you, the customer. I don’t know about you but I sure like feeling appreciated!