It seems odd to have a single week dedicated to celebrating the small businesses in our communities.

If we look at the statistics, we should be doing this each and every day.

According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, 99.7 percent of all businesses in the United States qualify as small businesses of 500 employees or fewer.

Even dialing down to businesses with fewer than 20 employees, the number is still a staggering nine out of 10 businesses.

Additionally, the former accounts for nearly 50 percent of U.S. employment. For perspective, The Daily News is categorized as a small business, with fewer than 100 employees. Small businesses are everywhere you look and their survival is the lifeblood of local communities.

With such a powerful economic impact on our communities, we have to say small business is big business in Galveston County.

There is also a powerful multiplier factor when you shop locally with a small business. Most locally owned businesses employ local people, purchase supplies locally and reinvest in the same community.

Your purchase in a locally owned business could be considered an investment — your spending decisions helping strengthen your local economy.

Research regularly shows nearly 50 percent of each dollar spent in a local business recirculates or otherwise has a positive effect in the local economy. By contrast, spending in a chain store recirculates a tick below 14 percent. Your spending (or investing) choice matters.

Furthermore, clicking a mouse for a nameless, giant online business does nothing to help offset your taxes, or provide sponsoring shirts for a Little League baseball team or to drive a donation to the local food pantry.

And when it comes to jobs, nothing can make an impact on employment levels like the small-business segment.

Small businesses, when supported locally, add local employees. And those local employees spend their earnings locally … and before you know it, the local economy is cooking.

Take this week to start a new habit by visiting and supporting small businesses in Galveston County. By doing so, you are investing in your community in ways you may never have imagined. Shop locally.

• Leonard Woolsey

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207;

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