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Small Businesses Make Big Impact on Local Economy

By Will Barclay


Before the latest holiday shopping season, many voices encouraged the public to shop locally during Small Business Saturday and the rest of the holiday season, reminding consumers that gifts and services purchased locally support businesses and jobs in our backyards. 

Supporting local businesses beyond the holiday shopping season and into the New Year has long-term and far-reaching benefits for the local economy.

Nearly 98 percent of all New York businesses are small businesses — about 451,000 across the state — and more than half of all workers earn a paycheck from small businesses. They provide a vast array of goods and services — from a cup of coffee to tech support to manufacturing — and collectively, they have a substantial impact on the economy. Based on the latest U.S. Census information, gross income and cost of goods sold as reported on federal income-tax forms average more than $950 billion annually for businesses with fewer than 500 employees in New York. Together, they support 3.9 million jobs statewide and are responsible for about $190 billion in payroll each year.

Locally, their impact cannot be overstated. The jobs small businesses create in individual counties was recently outlined in a report put together by the New York State Comptroller which was based on the latest Census from 2013. Oswego County reported 1,827 small businesses which supported 14,096 employees; Onondaga County reported 9,001 small businesses which provided jobs for 103,138; and Jefferson County reported 1,894 small businesses that provided jobs for 18,091.

Small-business owners’ investment in their community strengthens the local economy and adds to the quality of life of the area. Because the businesses are owned, managed, and have employees who live in the local community they are also inherently community-minded and are more likely to create partnerships and create ties in local neighborhoods —all of which contributes to stronger and safer communities. This includes giving to community causes and supporting fellow small businesses in the area. All of this helps increase local sales-tax receipts and, in general, adds to local tax base which supports municipal services, local roads, and education. 

Consumers have many options but shopping locally is an easy way to support the local economy. To learn more about small businesses in New York, visit a local chamber of commerce. Fulton and Oswego businesses are listed at Many Baldwinsville businesses can be found at, Central Square and Oneida Lake–area businesses can be found at, and Pulaski area businesses can be found at         

William (Will) A. Barclay is the Republican representative of the 120th New York Assembly District, which encompasses most of Oswego County, including the cities of Oswego and Fulton, as well as the town of Lysander in Onondaga County and town of Ellisburg in Jefferson County. Contact him at or (315) 598-5185.


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