Small Business Saturday

by Ernest Freeland

Small Business Saturday is this Saturday November 30th.  Thanks to American Express it is a day where small businesses and their owners move into the spot light of retail during the holiday season.

Small businesses are important to the economy. Here are some of my favorite facts:

– Local business generated 60-80% of new jobs every year over the last decade.
– For every $100 spent at local small businesses $68 returns to the community.
– Local business employ half of all private sector employees.
Source: SBA, Civic Economics

What I don’t think many people realize is how many of the local communities resources and businesses we use to maintain our businesses.  So I made a list of what I use in the running of my small business, it is probably not complete but a good illustration.


  • Our Employees
  • Sales Reps – Manufactures
  • Accountant
  • Lawyer
  • Insurance Agent
  • Auto Mechanic
  • Computer Technician
  • Banker
  • Landlord:  Employs –Landscapers, Street Cleaners, Lighting Company
  • Promotions product company
  • Uniform Company
  • UPS – FedEx
  • Freight Truck Drivers – Multiple companies
  • Mail
  • Company for Store signage
  • Graphic Artist
  • Phone Company to supply hardware
  • Computer Hardware Supplier


  • Company for the Shop Parts Cleaner
  • Cintas – Rags Floor Mats
  • Company for Office Supplies
  • Company for Cleaning Supplies
  • Security Company
  • Web company
  • Advertising Reps
  • Trash Removal Company
  • Employee Entertainment
  • Carpet Cleaning Service
  • Phone Service
  • Cable/Internet Company
  • Power Company
  • Fuel for the company car
  • Store maintenance – paint light bulbs – local hardware store
  • Software Supplier
  • Credit card processing company
  • Printing company Non signage
  • Government Agency Employees on the State and local level who collect the taxes and fees

Don’t forget all of the employees needed to run the companies listed above. Sure one business on its own can’t support all of these businesses on their own, but as a group, small businesses support many of the same types of business listed above.

Are you employed by a company that relies on small businesses for your revenue?

If you are does that mean when a discounted sale/service is made in your company that each of the employees take a pay cut/discount on their wages in an equivalent percentage? I highly doubt it.

Factor in all of the sales tax theses businesses generate and the other fees they pay to run their business and the taxes they pay in doing so.

In many cases you can find the same products that are offered locally cheaper. Differences can be so large that you can’t ignore them. But when is something really on sale or general overpriced? Learn more here. In many cases when you factor in the extra value of purchasing local the difference isn’t so great. You save the shipping; you have someone who is an expert in what they do to assist you. Have questions about your purchase or need to warranty it, you have a connection to someone who can help you. With many of these purchases you don’t pay sales tax. Learn here why I think sales tax is important.

We all need to be fiscally smart but as in life all of our decisions have consequences.

If we are always looking for the cheapest solution you are simply engaged in a race to the bottom. This is a bad race for the business and the consumer, nobody really wins.

Lower profits mean less money for payroll, fewer opportunities to grow the business and the workforce and more. Competition is fierce these days and comes from many different directions more so then it used to.  For most businesses one of the biggest expenses is payroll and it is one that can be controlled by the business, unlike the fixed expenses.

For our economy to return to greatness it needs businesses who can afford to pay fair wages to their employees so they (the employees) may invest the money in the local economy through the use of local services and purchases.

About Ernest

Ernest is the owner of the Crofton Bike Doctor located in the Village of Waugh Chapel Shopping Center. Ernest has been in the industry since 1989 when he first started to work at the Bike Doctor of Arnold. During that time I developed a love for cycling and retail. I graduated from the University of Maryland and live and ride locally.

I enjoy riding off road and on the road as well as doing a little bike touring. As a teenager I did a trip in Maine and then over to Novia Scotia which helped cement my love for riding. Since then I have done tours in the Canyons of Utah as well as several trips along the C&O Canal. Today I have both mountain bikes and road bikes that I enjoy riding. One of the most exciting things now is my wife is beginning to develop a passion for riding and we have begun mountain bike together as well as some light road riding.

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