Romer: A love letter to our business community
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and I’m willing to admit that I love our small businesses. I believe that diverse small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbones of our community and that much like our loved ones, appreciation for our business community deserves to be recognized.
Small and local businesses have more community impact than on their designated once-a-year Small Business Saturday awareness events. The ability to reflect a community’s character and interact with its neighbors on both a business and personal level is something that makes communities stronger. Celebrating a small business is more than just complimenting its quirk or its target audience — it’s recognizing and cherishing the positive impact it holds around the community, plus all the independent and unique products and services that add to community character.
I love how our small businesses benefit the economy. Businesses and entrepreneurs step up to meet consumer demands. The economic benefits of small businesses are numerous and portray how even the smallest shop can have the largest impact.
I love how our businesses create local jobs. With the increase in businesses comes an increase in the number of available local jobs. Our businesses step up to provide training and professional development to help locals grow their skill sets and grow their careers locally.
I love how our businesses often produce an increase in job opportunities at other nearby small businesses. When you have an active community with small businesses placed throughout, people are more likely to shop around from one business to the next, as opposed to only going to one big box store for everything they need. The more attention small businesses receive, the more likely other complimentary businesses can pop up and be successful.
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I love that small businesses generate revenue that converts to local taxes feeding the local economy to create a better business environment within the community. This means our school districts, special districts, and other organizations help to create a support system and reap the benefits of each other’s hard work.
I love that our local businesses are innovative and diverse. They carry inventory and products that are fresh, new and different. Our independent boutiques and retailers will generally provide unique products that might be harder to find at larger retailers.
I love that our business community recognizes the need to embrace cooperation and collaboration with other local businesses. The spirit of collaboration and support that our businesses share — and how they prop each other up and support one another — is a unique and special characteristic.
I love that our business owners help drive the small-town culture within our community. Business owners and operators can be seen at any number of nonprofit board meetings and local committee meetings. It’s not uncommon to see a block of local businesses supporting our events or fundraisers, donating portions of their sales to local charities.
I’m lucky enough to regularly talk to business owners and entrepreneurs. I get to hear about their triumphs and their challenges and their growth plans. There are a lot of reasons that I love my work, but a core part of what makes my job special is the businesses and people within the community that we get to serve. What would our community be without the local restaurants, bars, boutiques and coffee shops? Every day, I’m happy to share that I love our business community and am deeply appreciative of their contributions to making Eagle County special.
Chris Romer is president & CEO of Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at VailValleyPartnership.com.