Chamber Chat – Small Business Season

December 12, 2021 | Written by: sanford-user

By Meg Moss, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

Small Business Saturday is a great idea to help support small businesses, but one day isn’t enough. We need a Small Business Season! Join us.

The Sanford Area Growth Alliance – Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to be celebrating Small Business Season. From now through December 25th, when you fill out a raffle ticket at a participating local business, you will be entered to win prizes. The top prize is a $250 gift certificate to a local business of the winner’s choice. Other prizes include earrings from Dan Martin Jewelers, a Vera Bradley bag from Kathryn’s Hallmark, a child’s rocking chair from the Unfinished Furniture Outlet, a pet pack and gift certificate from Carolina Town and Country, and other various gift certificates!

Small businesses faced extraordinary challenges this year. From a global pandemic and business closures to implementing new ways to serve their customers with the safety of all involved, many small businesses were forced to tap into their reserves to remain open.

That in itself posed a problem because of a lack of reserves. According to JP Morgan Chase, “The median small business holds 27 cash buffer days in reserve. Half of all small businesses hold a cash buffer of less than one month. Moreover, 25 percent of small businesses hold fewer than 13 cash buffer days in reserve.” That means over 50% of small businesses wouldn’t last over a month on their reserves.

Add to that the employee shortage, supply chain issues, and the costs of everything increasing, and some small businesses may feel they are on the brink of extinction.

Our small businesses in 2021 (and beyond) need more than just Small Business Saturday to show our support. They need an entire season! That’s why this year we are encouraging you to support the call to action to Do Something Big and shop small this small business season.

Many small businesses have been hit exceptionally hard since the beginning of the pandemic because of their lack of e-commerce options. While big box stores gobbled up the lion’s share of online orders (Frank Kenney, Chamber of Commerce professional tells us that Walmart’s online orders increased by 79% in the 3rd quarter of 2020 alone), many small businesses struggled to launch an online component, much less market that one was available. It was a hard learned lesson and one many simply weren’t prepared for.

When we talk about shopping small or shopping local, we always mention how the money stays in town. But let’s break that down a bit.

According to the Senior Core of Retired Executives, shopping locally and small has a significant impact on the local economy. For every $1 you spend at a small business, 67 cents stays in the local community, 44 cents goes to the small business owner and employees wages and benefits and 23 cents gets reinvested in other local businesses. And that $1 creates an additional 50 cents of local economic impact. Thirty cents is spent by the small business owner on local vendors and 20 cents is spent by the owner and employees locally.

Businesses participating in the local Chamber Small Business Season promotion include High Cotton Couture, With Love Boutique, The Chocolate Cellar, Sanford Antique Mall, Dan Martin Jewelers, Broadway Hardware, The Eyelight – Coffee and Comics, Brainiacs Toy Shop, Carolina Town and Country, Kathryn’s Hallmark, Unfinished Furniture Outlet, Tasting Queens Market and Piggly Wiggly of Sanford. We encourage you to visit these, and all locally owned small businesses during the holidays – and all year long!