Keep it in the Community

SmallBusinessSmall Business Saturday is on November 29, and that is the day that we celebrate all of those local businesses that make the communities in Northwest Indiana unique. Cool restaurants, specialty stores, local contractors, mom and pop stores...we've got them everywhere. People trying to make a name for themselves, trying to serve their community using their passions and skills. "If you want something done right, do it yourself," is the adage that comes to mind. 

Below are thoughts of local business owners and those who are big supporters of small business success on why supporting small businesses is vital to the growth of a community.

"Small businesses put a much larger share of their revenue back into our local economy, and that's great for the community's well-being." - Brad Cavanaugh, owner of Air One Custom Photography in Valparaiso

"The money that you spend at a local business it stays in the community. Speaking for myself, I have large investments in the local community. I buy and build my buildings with local contractors and I only hire people from NWI. Some businesses hire outside help that doesn't invest in the community at all." - Scott Lynn, owner of Lynn's Bedroom City in various locations throughout Northwest Indiana

"When you spend a dollar in your community it changes hands at least seven times before it leaves the community and 80% of jobs come from small businesses. It's huge for small businesses...There has been a renewed focus on shopping local and having special days like Small Business Saturday cements in people's minds that if they have money to spend, then they should spend it in their community. People need to be reminded so they can focus in the issues that their community faces and this is a fun way to do it."Bert Cook, Executive Director of the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation

"Compared to chain stores, locally owned small businesses put their money back into the community to boost its economy. This helps to interlock the communities socially which in turn keeps them vibrant."Chef Joseph Gaal, Sage Restaurant in Chesterton

"As someone who has organized fundraising events and races as well as who has been on nonprofit and school boards, I have seen first hand that the local business owners are the first to donate and consistently do so. They have the ability to make decisions immediately without making a group jump through hoops. They like seeing firsthand the fruits of their labor when helping their neighbors. These are also the folks that take a lot of pride in their product or service. And when a complaint arises, they can take care of it immediately and rectify the situation... Before you walk into a big box store, Google local stores for that product. You may spend a few dollars more, but you will be investing in your community. You will likely get a salesperson who makes sure you get the right product, not the most profitable product. You will get a meal delivered with a sincere smile, and you will gain the satisfaction that you have helped a neighbor put their kid through college, or pay for the perfect prom dress, or put a little extra in their retirement fund." - Robyn Walsworth, owner of Firehouse Subs in Portage

"Small business is the heart beat of this country. Just imagine all the small stores in your town closing; seriously, ALL OF THEM! Don't think that would happen? Why not? If one closes from lack of support, why not another and then another until they are all gone? Go up and down your street and envision each store closing and nothing replacing it, with the only option left of going to a national chain, big box type store for ALL your needs. Would you miss the shoe repair store? The quaint coffee shop? The ice cream parlors? The cute unique dress shop? The art galleries? The thrift stores? The home-cooked food restaurants? The elegant desserts? The small beauty salons.? The list goes on and on... Support the ones you can, when you can and as often as you can." - Donna Flanagin, owner of Flanagin's Bulk Mail Service in Valparaiso

"As a small business owner, I know the amount of work that goes into starting a business, and that rests on a kind of faith and dedication to the community as a whole. We all work together to make the community grow. If the community supports my business, I can hire new workers, and I can pay them a fair wage. We bank at local banks, we get our services from local graphic artists and writers, and when we get paid, we keep our money in the community. I prefer to spend mine eating at local restaurants and shopping at local stores. I give to local charities. I want Northwest Indiana to be a thriving community, and it is. Local businesses put their emphasis on the community because they know it's the community that will make or break them. It's not like a chain where one store can close and the corporation stays healthy. We put our hearts into our businesses and our customers and everyone thrives because of it." - Darlene Cohn, owner of D. Cohn Communications in Northwest Indiana.

"Buying locally gets the community together because everyone gets to know each other. And you support your local business owners like you would want them to support you." - Kristi Soto, of the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso said

"When you shop online at big box stores, not only are you send your money away, but also local tax money is going away. So it's affecting us locally more than we think. It's vital to supoport local businesses. Keeping the dollars and investments at home." - Michelle Smith, owner of Mop Squad in Northwest Indiana said

"Everything stays local. You live locally, you shop locally. The thing is that your next door neighbor might work down the street at the mom and pop hardware store, and if you go to a local business, not only are you helping that business owner keep all of his or her employees employed but that is creating more jobs. And as the business community grows it attracts more people to the area which helps everyone else. It helps the schools which will attract better teachers, and that will attract more families to the area, and more families in the area means more consumers. - Dr. Ryan Porterfield, owner of Porterfield Family Chiropractic in Valparaiso