The issue:

Small businesses provide jobs, economic development and a sense of place in the community.

What we think:

Honor small businesses more than just once a year — make a point to shop local whenever possible.

Tell us what you think:

Send us an email at

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Owning a small business is risky — about 20 percent don’t make it past the first year and only half make it past five years in operation.

It takes the right mix of capital, cash flow, demand and management for a small business to succeed, and the community should honor all of those that are getting it right. Successful small businesses greatly contribute to the economic success of a community — each $100 spent at local small businesses generates $45 of secondary local spending, compared to only $14 for big-box chain stores.

Starting Sunday, the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center and the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado will celebrate all things small business with events from a food truck cook-off to marketing classes for local firms. Business owners, managers and entrepreneurs will learn about workforce development efforts and emerging trends.

It’s all designed to help keep doors open for smaller-scale entrepreneurs across the Pikes Peak region.

In addition, those involved with small businesses also tend to be active in their communities, involved in arts, nonprofits and education. At the same time, they make up the majority of job creation across the nation. The local business community is vital to economic development and job growth.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that small businesses make up 63 percent of new private sector jobs across the nation, and are responsible for 48.5 percent of private sector employment and 37 percent of high-tech employment.

The international trade numbers are equally impressive: Small businesses make up 98 percent of firms exporting goods and 33 percent of total exporting value.

The businesses — and the entrepreneurs who strike out on their own instead of collecting a paycheck — deserve the support of the entire community. As consumers, we should choose the local option whenever possible. Instead of ordering from Amazon or going to Walmart, consider shopping local instead.

The city’s core thrives on small business development — and there are small business enclaves throughout the city. There’s always Applebee’s, McDonald’s and Dillard’s. But why not try Wobbly Olive, Bingo Burger and Terre Verde instead. Your money will stay in the community, and help pay for new roads, new stormwater infrastructure. It can pay for teacher salaries, new school buildings, more police and fire protection.

When you shop at a small business, you’re supporting a local family and an entrepreneur who’s passionate about what they do — not just interested in the company’s stock prices.

While the impact of big-box stores and publicly traded firms should never be dismissed, small businesses provide a glimpse into the culture of a city and are a vital part of what makes every community different from all the others.

So join the SBDC and BBB as they spend next week helping small businesses with managing growth and developing fresh plans — and as they celebrate the successes of our local small business community.