Shop LOCAL and support our businesses

Small businesses are an integral part of our local economy and community as a whole.

While these businesses don’t employ hundreds or thousands as large industries, they are the income and livelihoods for many families. They also provide important goods and services, typically with a type of customer service you won’t find at a big box store.

“In the United States, existing small businesses comprise 99 percent of all employer firms, employ nearly half of the workforce, and account for more than 60 percent of the private sector’s net new jobs,” according to www.goldmansachs.com, referencing a new report conducted by Babson College called The State of Small Business in America.

In South Carolina, small businesses employed 758,318 people in 2014. That equals 46.9 percent of the private workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration,

Barnwell County is fortunate to have a number of small businesses.

Statistics show that small businesses are on the rise. A number of new small businesses have either recently opened in Barnwell County or plan to open soon. That’s great news for our community!

Every new business that opens makes our community a little bit better by providing more goods and services than we had before. Having more options, particularly in a small town, is good for everyone.

However, in order for small businesses to remain in business, they need the support of residents. That’s why we encourage residents to shop local as much as possible.

With the holidays coming up, everyone is trying to shop for family and friends. Many people shop on Black Friday – or even Thanksgiving Day – to try to find the best deals, but don’t forget about Small Business Saturday. Mark your calendars for Saturday, Nov. 25 and then go support our local small businesses. You can find many unique gifts right here without having to go out of town.

Shopping local and supporting our friends, relatives and neighbors who own small businesses is the best deal of all.

We also encourage local small business owners to attend an upcoming informational session with small business managers from the Savannah River Site. The session is on Thursday, Nov. 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Edisto Room at the Southern Carolina Business Center (54 Irving Street, Barnwell).

SRS, SouthernCarolina Alliance, the Barnwell County Chamber of Commerce and the S.C. Promise Zone are hosting this informational session so small businesses can learn about various contractor procurement practices and how their businesses can quality for potential opportunities. SRS is willing to invest in small businesses, but business owners need to take advantage of this opportunity.

In reality, “small” businesses aren’t that small after all.