By Zach Friend
As we head into the holiday season it’s always a good time to remember to support our small, locally owned businesses. In Santa Cruz County, 82 percent of local businesses have less than 9 employees. Many small, locally owned businesses rely on a strong holiday season to have a successful year.
This year, Small Business Saturday, a nationwide event to support small local businesses, will be held on Saturday, November 24. Small Business Saturday was created to support small businesses as an alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Countywide, thousands of local businesses are participating and special events will be held throughout the county including in Aptos and Capitola.
Did you know that more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year? Supporting small businesses helps boost our local economy and also keeps more money invested locally.
According to an analysis by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, “Locally owned businesses play a central role in healthy communities and are among the best engines that cities and towns have for advancing economic opportunity and building resilient places.”
Specifically, a report from an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta showed that counties with larger shares of local small businesses outperform their peers on three critical economic indicators that they have:
- Stronger per capita income growth
- Faster employment growth
- Lower poverty rates.
Additionally, an analysis from the Government Finance Review, found that smaller-local businesses (versus box stores) provide more tax revenue on the aggregate while costing less in government services.
Locally, we have many locally-owned businesses that provide a variety of options for our holiday shopping including kid’s stores, restaurant gift certificates, great coffee shops, clothing stores, jewelers, locally-owned hotel getaway options and more. Some of these small businesses have been recognized nationally for their unique options and all of these businesses employ local residents and many are owned by residents right here in the mid and south county.
The County has a Shop Small Facebook page where you can get more information, facebook.com/santacruzcountysmallbusinesssaturday. You may also reach out to the Aptos Chamber of Commerce or Capitola/Soquel Chamber of Commerce for participating businesses and specials.
As always, I appreciate hearing your thoughts. Feel free to call me at 454-2200 or stop by my weekly open office hours.