A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

Our view: Support our local businesses all year

Cloquet mayor Roger Maki cited several interesting numbers in his recent proclamation of Small Business Saturday. In short, small business makes up a significant part of the economy. So we need to support local business not only this Saturday, but all year-round.

For the holiday season, “thoughtful” is the way to go when gift giving. There is nothing more thoughtful than something that supports our friends and neighbors in a direct way. The pandemic was extremely difficult on area businesses; now is a good time to make them feel whole again.

We think of Grandma, who may have a dozen or so grandchildren who receive gifts. Often the default stocking stuffer is a gift card. Consider, this year, to get it for dinner at a local restaurant, or for another local business.

Find the work of local artists and crafters, and support them as well.

And don’t forget recreation. Give someone the gift of a state park pass, so they can enjoy not only the spectacular Jay Cooke next door, but all the parks up the North Shore. Get outdoor gear at a local shop, and if it isn’t available in Carlton County, check out the small business options in nearby Duluth. That’s where you can support a whole host of local businesses with local products.

Carlton County is catching up with Duluth. Here you’ll find growing options for arts and crafts; specialty clothing and gift stores; and those venerable useful places that offer services such as clothing and household and automobile repair.

Small business is not small-time. According to the Small Business Administration, American businesses with under 500 employees are responsible for 62% of net new job growth since 1995.

You can share in keeping the local economy strong by doing your best to buy local products at local businesses.

“Cloquet, Minnesota supports our local businesses that create jobs, boost our local economy and preserve our communities,” said a mayoral proclamation from Maki this month celebrating Small Business Saturday.

Call it a holiday present with twice the benefit, once for your loved ones, and another for keeping the local economy humming.