Imagine living in your hometown but every time you go to buy your grocery needs, your lunch, or anything else, you have to visit big facilities. Without small businesses, the city loses its identity, culture, and charm. And we did not start with the economic importance of small businesses.
A community can only thrive with the help of small businesses. Not only do SMEs give life to the local economy, but also create a sense of community building in terms of helping and supporting one another.
This is especially true in the F&B and restaurant industries; New and SME restaurants tend to find innovative and creative ways to provide great food quality and a unique restaurant experience that suits the preferences of their communities.
In KSA alone, the country recorded a 24% increase in entrepreneurial activity in one year and a 65% increase in business ownership in the past 3 years according to a study by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).
It is important to support small businesses as they contribute a lot more than we think to the community. Here are the reasons why a community needs SMEs and the economic importance of small businesses for the local community
They Enhance the Community’s Character & Personality
Small businesses usually reflect their neighborhoods’ ideals, culture, and preferences as they come from people belonging to that community. For instance, when walking down a city street, or a local neighborhood, you will find plenty of small places alongside the street from restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and so much more, all of which add a unique trait to the community.
They Contribute to their Community
SMEs find various ways to contribute and get involved with their communities, because as SMEs, the happier and more accomplished the community is, the better and more profitable the businesses are. According to a study by Small Biz Trends, 52% of SMEs around the world donate to Charities and 90% of the donors choose local causes.
However, donating money is not the only way to support your local community. Some SME owners choose to exclusively support local products/services and target their marketing campaigns to vocalize their support to advertise these local businesses.
They Establish Personal Relationships with Their Community
You can see that most small businesses have direct contact with their customers or clientele. For example, it is more common to see the owner of a small restaurant serving his clients, asking about their feedback, getting to know each and every visitor, and quickly adjusting the restaurant to suit the preferences of the community. Some also take some time off to provide lectures and talks to inspire future generations of entrepreneurs and guide them towards success in the industry.
They Bring Innovation & Diversity
Startups and SMEs usually start by finding the gaps in their community and providing innovative solutions through their services or products. But in these current times, rarely can we find an idea that hasn’t been thought of, so when entrepreneurs and business owners find similar establishments with the same services, it is important to find ways to stand out and appeal to your customers more. This healthy competition, created indirectly, has forced small businesses to always work on their brand to be the most unique in the bunch, which in turn breathes life to the neighborhood.
They Keep the Local Economy Alive
Local SMEs in a community help each other to stay in business and keep the money circulating in the local marketplace. For example, A small restaurant will seek out cleaning services, maintenance, grocery, produce, and so much more from the closest and most convenient places in his neighborhood instead of having an outside source like most Brand names and big companies.
They Provide Job Opportunities
According to the same study conducted by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, numbers have shown that more than 60% of private sector employees belong to SMEs and small businesses with expectations for it to increase as small businesses gain more and more support. So we can imagine the economic importance of small business.