One of my favorite things about Santa Barbara is the value locals place on small business. I love walking State Street and stopping for a salad at Savoy, tacos at Lilly’s, or a treat at Chocolats du Calibressan.
Research shows locally owned businesses create more prosperous and connected communities (among other benefits). I love this infographic from the Huffington Post–undoubtedly small businesses are a vital contributor to our economy.
There are countless business owners I look up to in town, from Karim at Axxess to Lisa at Carlyle. I am hard at work setting everything up to become one myself and am so eager to join the club. What could be more fulfilling than meeting the needs of our community through business?
Prior to this new venture, I spent three years on staff at Women’s Economic Ventures(Santa Barbara’s nonprofit Women’s Business Center) where I worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs at many stages of business, all of whom I deeply respect for their tenacity and contributions to our city.
My last month there, we won the Southern California Women’s Business Center of Excellence award from the Small Business Administration. You can see I was ecstatic at the awards luncheon (above), but only because I truly believe in the profound importance of small business and feel privileged to be a part of our entrepreneurial community.
Consider this: If just half the U.S. employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. What an impact!
I’m curious…do you celebrate small business and shop local? What are some of your favorite spots? And to all the rockstar business owners out there–thank you for all you do.