Hosted by the Small Business Association (SBA), National Small Business Week is a celebration and appreciation of small businesses. With an emphasis on local shopping and supporting local entrepreneurs, it highlights the role small businesses contribute in the nation’s economy.

It’s been going on for more than 50 years, with small businesses leveraging the opportunity to influence their local community, reward loyal customers and partner with other small businesses.

Held every spring, the small business week dates this year fall on May 2 to May 8. The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce kicks off Small Business Week with its Seek+Find Shop Local campaign. Playing cards are available at participating businesses and everyone is encouraged to shop local and play along. Once four stickers are collected on the playing card, shoppers can drop the card at a participating business for a chance to win one of three great prize baskets.

“Small Business Week is the perfect week to kick off our Shop Local campaign,” said Patti Jensen, Executive Director of the Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and we should celebrate them every week.”

According to the Small Business Administration, more than 50% of Americans either work for or own a small business. And small businesses and start-ups create nearly two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

“Mitchell County is home to many outstanding small businesses. Certainly, everyone has a favorite. Maybe it is a restaurant, clothing store or antique shop, attraction, or nursery. Regardless, the choices here are plentiful. Take time this week and make a special effort to thank them,” said Jensen.

“And for our small business owners, we want to say thank you for your investment in our area and your commitment to your business especially considering the tough circumstances of the past 14 months. You realize it is all about excellent customer service and friendly talented people. Relationships still win the day – whether online or in person.”

The Chamber encourages everyone to celebrate National Small Business Week and gives some suggestions on how they can participate. They first encourage everyone to grab a Shop Local playing card and visit local businesses to collect stickers. Everyone can visit the Mitchell Chamber Facebook page for all of the details on playing along. The Chamber also  encourages everyone to visit their website www.mitchellcountychamber.org to check out the Membership Directory of area businesses. “These businesses are members of the Chamber and we encourage everyone to check the Chamber member listing first when looking for a business or service that you need,” said Jensen. “By being a Chamber member, these businesses and organizations have made a statement that they want to be a part of supporting their community.”

In addition, community members can support local small business during Small Business Week in a variety of ways

 

  1. Shop local

One of the best ways to support small business is to go shopping! Use this week as a reason to splurge at that new store, check out the menu at a new restaurant, or buy some flowers for your loved ones from the local florist.

  1. Spread the word

Many small businesses rely on word-of-mouth to get people in their door. Impressed with the service and expertise of the company that brought new life into your home with a fresh coat of paint? Write a review! Use platforms like Google and Yelp to let others know the great experience you’ve had.

  1. Get social

Another way to spread the word on your experiences at small businesses is to use social media. Check-in on Facebook so your friends know you are trying that cool new store or restaurant. Snap an Instagram photo of before and after you received that life-altering beard trim from your barber. You can even live-tweet your way through eating the giant donut you found at the local coffee shop.

  1. Say Thank You

There is a lot to be thankful for when it comes to small businesses. They create tons of new jobs every year, provide personal experiences, and support your local community.  Have you had a personal experience with a small business? Drop off a music gift card so the barista you talk to about music every morning can download those new songs. Buy coffee for your dry cleaners to thank them for removing so many coffee stains out of your shirts. Or, just say “thank you” to let local businesses know you appreciate the time and effort they put into making your life better.

  1. Give Positive Feedback: Follow your local businesses on social and then like, comment on and share the content they post.

These are just a few ways we can show support to our local businesses during National Small Business Week. Just remember how much these businesses impact our communities and our lives, then let’s show our appreciation all year long!

Follow the Chamber’s Facebook page for a series of videos, posted each day during Small Business Week, to highlight the importance of all small businesses in our county.