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Small Business

Small Businesses Pay it Forward

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The American Express mantra for small business is ‘buy local,’ but do the owners and operators of neighborhood shops practice what they preach? In a word, “yes.”

The Spring 2013 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor reports that nearly all (96 percent) find some way to contribute to their communities, whether it be donating to local causes, participating in community projects or sponsoring a local athletic team (see story, page 23). More than eight out in 10 (83 percent) shop at independently owned businesses in their neighborhoods.

The semi-annual survey provides insight into the mindset of small business owners and provides some understanding of how they balance long-term optimism and short term-realism. More than half (54 percent) of small business owners remain optimistic about their business prospects and 31 percent of these entrepreneurs plan to hire -- on par with last fall (29 percent) and last spring (35 percent). The majority of small business owners -- 92 percent -- say they are happy with their lives; among this group, more than three-quarters say their happiness is due somewhat or entirely to being an entrepreneur.