National Small Business Week was formed by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 1953 as a way to honor our country’s top entrepreneurs each year. Not to be outdone, the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce started awarding a local Small Business Person of the Year in 1990. This year’s recipients, April Ryan and Ashley Landerman of 2Tarts Bakery, carry on the tradition of representing the hard-working small business people of this town.   

Small businesses are the backbone of our national economy. There are 30.7 million small businesses in America that are responsible for creating 1.5 million jobs a year! In Comal County, small businesses employ over 55,000 people, according the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation. Any way you slice it, that is a powerful economic engine. 

Running a small business is an incredibly empowering endeavor. Owners have the satisfaction of bringing a product or service to market. They also feel the rewards of providing the opportunity to work and make a living for the local labor force. Small businesses tend to be the keepers of the culture for a town. What would downtown be without the local restaurants and lively nightlife or Gruene without the quaint shopping? However, the role is not without its challenges. Over 50% of startups fail to see their second year due to these challenges. With so much at stake, we must do our part to support our local small businesses. 

Each one of us can show our support in many ways, and not all of them require spending money.  Here are ways you can support our local small businesses.

• Leave a genuine and positive review. Online reviews are a huge driver to consumer behavior and a great way to show your appreciation for a job well done. Think of it as a personal thank you note that the business can brag to the world about.

• Give a referral. Most small business owners are the CEO, head of sales and customer service departments all rolled into one. A referral can help them fill their sales pipeline and give them back valuable time to work on their business.

• Shop New Braunfels first! This is the slogan of the Blue Coat Ambassadors here at the Chamber and the reason they are the best in the country. Always look at your local options when shopping.  Need a suggestion? Feel free to call us here at the Chamber.

• Give gifts from our local shops. We have the benefit of living in one of the most popular towns in Texas. A gift from one of our many wonderful shops will brighten the day for that special someone.  Plus, you’re guaranteed that the gift will be unique.

Our local small businesses are great assets to our town. From the jobs they provide to the charm they create; New Braunfels would be a different place without them. So, this fall when you make a choice of where to spend your dollars, take a look at your options locally. I think you will be very happy with your options.