Ronni Hannaman: Small business community reflects who we are

Support your local small businesses, for if you don’t, they may be subject to the same fate major retailers are facing all over the country as more than 5,100 national chain stores are anticipated to close their doors this year. The count doesn’t include the mom and pop stores closing daily.

Venerable chains are closing their doors as consumers are turning more and more to their keyboards to shop online. Local stores don’t have online presence, have small marketing budgets, and must rely on local and tourism sales.

Carson City residents constantly clamber for more local and “unique” shopping experiences to supplement offerings of the national chains, yet few understand how difficult it is for small business to survive. Loyal customers are the key element.

Should local businesses not survive, a major fallout of less retailers is the non-profit community so reliant on local retailers to donate goods or services for their fundraisers. Small businesses operate on a small margin, and for them, any donation can cut into their slim bottom line. Yet they give, hoping in some way to be rewarded by possible new customers.

If you have ever attended the annual major fundraiser Luau hosted by the Boys and Girls Clubs, there’s an overwhelming display in the silent auction of donated goods and services from the small business community that adds considerably to the bottom line of the Clubs.

The many Carson City nonprofits are always on the hunt for donations and hit up many of the same businesses that can’t sustain the cost without support from the community.

Note, the major national retailers aren’t generous and rarely participate in local events, so the burden is on small business to consistently give back to the community in which they hope to survive and grow.

Our small retailers create a sense of community and add to our quality of life. They reflect who we are.

Forget the keyboard now and then and help our small businesses survive. Small businesses are all over the city and await your discovery. One great way to enjoy discovering what’s new in the downtown core and at the Carson Mall is through the monthly wine walk experience.

Ronni Hannaman is the Carson City Chamber of Commerce executive director


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