Recently, I was honored to speak at the city’s Mayor and Council breakfast to several hundred business people and other residents about how important small business is in Scottsdale. Here are some highlights from that talk:
Today I am celebrating small business and the work produced by entrepreneurs. These are self-motivated, focused, hands on, jack of all trades people. They are not content with reporting to a boss. They work long hours in businesses that they enjoy.
They are not afraid to fail but they have enough built-in confidence that they take advantage of opportunities and plan for success. And, they do succeed, often far more than their wildest expectations.
There’s no shortage of entrepreneurial people in Scottsdale. An unofficial calculation indicates that over 90 percent of the nearly 30,000 identified businesses here are small. Our economic development department generally defines small business as firms employing 10 employees or less. Each one has an economic impact larger than you might expect.
To put it into perspective, a book store with 10 employees and about $1.2 million in annual sales would have a total economic impact of $4.5 million over 5 years. That same store would generate a little over $125,000 in direct revenue to the city in those five years. This amount includes property tax, sales tax and state shared revenues.
Yet, in addition, each of those 10 employees, if they live in or even eat or shop in Scottsdale, generate income for other businesses when they spend their payroll dollars here.
They buy food, clothes, gas, and all the many products that our retailers sell. According to studies referenced by Local First Arizona, for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $73 remains in the local economy.
So, small business is critical to the economic health of Scottsdale.
It’s no accident that Scottsdale is recognized as one of the best-run cities in the country. Many new businesses have located in the city in the last few years, partly because of our business-friendly attitude. They have added many thousands of jobs which contribute to increasing revenues and activating greater economic activity.
The city of Scottsdale has also created a positive environment for our existing businesses to remain here and to expand.
In short, Scottsdale loves its small businesses. In the upcoming holiday season, make it a point to shop local. You will not only support Scottsdale businesses, you will contribute to improving the overall economic health of our city.
Editor's note: Ms. Klapp is a member of Scottsdale City Council.