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Opinion: The importance of supporting local businesses in 2021


As we pack away our holiday decorations and say goodbye to an unprecedented year, small business owners throughout the world are working harder than ever before to keep their doors open and keep the spirit of entrepreneurship alive.

Recent small business recovery research conducted by American Express showed that nearly 1 out of every 4 small business owners stopped paying themselves a salary in 2020 to be able to remain open in the current climate, but they are not sure if they will make it to 2021.

When you shop and dine in mom-and-pop businesses, you bring significant impact on the local economy. In fact, dollars spent with local businesses stay in the local community longer than dollars spent with non-local businesses. For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $43 remains in the economy. In comparison, for every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, only $13 remains in the economy. Fortunately, the Small Business Recovery Research report shows that three-quarters of U.S. consumers are currently looking for ways to shop small and support their community.

As a small business owner in Historic Downtown Glendale and nearly 50-year Glendale resident, I know that when local businesses and historic downtowns are thriving, everyone wins. Strong, local economies help to prevent economic downturns and bring more jobs to employ individuals across the state. A visit to the family-owned specialty boutique or a stop at the neighborhood ice cream shop not only supports the local economy, but also promotes a vibrant community.

Many small businesses have adapted their operations through the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing social media messaging, offering curbside pickup, starting gift certificate programs, and increasing their online presence. Businesses have also worked to provide safe shopping and dining in-person experiences. From mask requirements, to social distancing and enhanced cleaning, when you visit small businesses, you can experience a safe atmosphere.

As we ring in the new year, we are reminded that our West Valley communities are filled with hometown pride. As residents, we are passionate about sharing the wide array of iconic and authentic places found right here in our local neighborhoods. Whether it is the local restaurant that you visit all the time, or the cute boutique that always has the perfect gift idea, when you support your hometown businesses, everyone wins.

As we welcome 2021, we would love to see you. Your visit to local small shops and eateries will continue to make entrepreneur dreams come true. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Editor’s note: Lorraine Zomok is the owner of Memory Lane Trinkets and Treasures located in Downtown Glendale’s Historic Catlin Court Retail District, and president of the Historic Downtown Glendale Merchants Association. For more information, check out www.memorylanetrinketsandtreasures.com and www.VisitDowntownGlendale.com. The Historic Downtown Glendale Merchants Association is a merchant-driven organization which stimulates, enhances and sustains the economic vitality and customer experience of the Historic Downtown Glendale Shopping and Dining District.