It's been a rough past 18 months for our hard-working small business owners.
It started with the COVID-19 pandemic, which blossomed into related issues such as a labor shortage, supply chain issues and now the continuing pessimism about their future.
Here's what small business owners need right now: a boost to business and a promise from their local community that they will continue to support them during this challenging economic time.
Here in Indiana, we've been lucky, and a bit sheltered from other states. Our state is well run and for the most part, Indiana kept the doors of small business open when other state governments mandated they close.
However, many of our small business owners were still forced to shut down, stop production on products and lay off employees. Indiana hasn't gone unscathed from this unprecedented global pandemic.
The hope is that our local communities can come together and give them a much-needed boost while they work to recover from this unprecedented challenge.
Here's what many Hoosiers aren't aware of: Small business is the heart of Indiana's economy. According to the federal government, 99% of all businesses in Indiana are small businesses and 45% of the state's workforce is employed by small business owners.
Our Hoosier entrepreneurs are not chain stores or big conglomerates. Their ownership doesn't live overseas and sit back and collect mindless revenue from their interests.
Indiana small business owners are likely the person you meet at your favorite local restaurant who grabs your menu and sits you down at your regular table they have reserved just for you.
Your local small business isn't owned by some faceless corporation. They are unique and committed to giving back. With a small business, 67 cents of every dollar spent stays in the local community, according to American Express estimates.
That's why I'm encouraging everyone to shop small on Saturday and throughout the year. When we help small businesses, we really do help everyone.
Barbara Quandt is Indiana state director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses.