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Shopping small is a big deal
Leah Poole 2018
Leah Poole, CEO of Liberty County Chamber of Commerce/ CVB

Having and supporting small business is an essential part of any local economy, however, during the holiday season it is easy for the local spots to get lost in the hustle and bustle of multi-million-dollar corporate ad buys. But what most people do not understand is that small business is BIG business. With roughly 28 million small businesses all over the United States, the dollars brought in by these businesses make up about 54 percent of all U.S. sales. 

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) small businesses make-up 1 million businesses in the state of Georgia, with 1.6 million employees, which is 43.7 percent of all those employed in the state. That’s huge! With 371,524 of those businesses being minority-owned business which is also important to note. Regarding the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, among our almost 500 members, 52 percent are owned/operated by minorities and in excess of 90 percent would be considered small businesses. 

This means that collectively, small business has a lot more pull than they may realize. Small businesses offer many unique one-of-a-kind products and services, and add value to a community, alongside big business, bringing character and inspiring consumer interest. As well as a level of one-on-one customer service that a lot of big retailers do not have time to attain.

So, please be aware that supporting Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is vitally important for our local economy and our local businesses. It is often missed in the rush to Black Friday and Cyber Monday; however, this movement, which started eight years ago, has become a staple for many. Thanks to American Express organizations like the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, we can bring free resources to our community to encourage people to shop small and shop local. 

It is of course our hope than in encouraging people to remember Shop Small Saturday that they in fact remember to shop small all year long. Even if that means just keeping the dollars in our community and continuing the circle of business helping business by supporting local. And in doing so, we support and promote a vibrant and diverse community, full of all types of prosperous businesses. 

The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce is all about promoting and supporting business. That means all business, large or small. We understand that in these times, it is much more difficult for small businesses to make it in the vast ocean of chain stores and big-name businesses. However, that does not mean that they cannot make it. We at the Chamber work hand in hand with small businesses every day, and completely understand that with the unwavering dedication these small business owners show to their business, they can make quite a name for themselves in our thriving community. 

We understand that success comes from being a recognized brand to your customers. We are your one-stop comprehensive resource, your access to qualified local leaders, future customers and referrals and the starting point for executing your marketing strategy. Or even creating that strategy! 

Whether its workshops, quarterly employer round tables, professional development opportunities or entrepreneurial and start-up assistance, we will provide you with the information you need to succeed. We strive to provide educational opportunities that make our businesses more informed and more prepared to address the challenges of the day. 

We encourage everyone to shop small on Saturday, November 24. See you out there! 

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