• The Survival of Our Long Island Economy Depends on You

       By Marc Piperno, President ET Week Media Group

        According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
        Though small businesses do not have the allure of a Big Brand Identity, they are the backbone and major contributor to the strength of our local economy. As a result, the onslaught of buying online is making it tougher for small businesses to stay open. 
        Think about it in these terms: Small businesses present new employment opportunities for people in our neighborhoods.  Like parents that need to work close to home for their children. How about the college student that has to get a job to help pay for their tuition. Or our Seniors who need to supplement income to make ends meet. Most of these groups of people work in Mom and Pop establishments. There are many examples I could give, but I think you get the picture. 
        According to the SBA, since 1995 small businesses have generated 64% of new jobs, and paid 44% of the total United States private payroll. By providing jobs, Mom and Pop businesses stimulate economic growth, putting money right back into our local economy. 
        Small businesses are the first to be approached for charitable donations. Try walking into Best Buy or Pier One Imports and get them to buy Girl Scout cookies or contribute to a fund raiser for a local Church or Synagogue. Don't hold your breath! Last I checked, I haven't seen anyone going online to ask for their local school fund raiser.
        Dot.COM companies do not support the dollars needed to keep Johnny's High School football team funded, do they?
        Case you didn't know, small businesses keep your real estate taxes in balance. Without small businesses to share in the tax burden, real estate taxes would go through the roof!
        Many small business owners are the civic leaders of our communities. Most live less than 10 miles away from their place of business. This means with your help, when you buy from them, they spend with others locally too, pumping money right back into our Long Island economy, where it belongs. Once you buy something on line, the circulation of money is completely taken out of the equation.  I'm not saying to stop buying on line. I certainly do!  But, I do whatever I can to give the local business owner the first chance to make a sale. I won't buy from them unless their product or service are worthy of my hard earned dollars, but always try give them the first shot.
        I mean, isn't that what an economy is? You buy from me, so I can buy from you, so you can buy from the next guy? So forth and so on. A healthy local economy has circular motion, working together and helping one another to remain strong. 
        The only thing that dot.coms do is take money out of our economy.
        All I keep hearing, is that nationally our economy is growing. Yes, consumer confidence is up, but the dollars spent have shifted away from local businesses to more on line buying.  Brick and Mortar stores have high overhead that is partly made up of the local people they employ.
        For goodness sakes, American Express, one of the largest corporations in the world promotes small business. They know how important Mom and Pop is to their business and I applaud them for it.