Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, accounting for more than half of all private-sector jobs. They are also a major source of innovation, responsible for creating more than 60 percent of new jobs in the United States over the past two decades. Despite their importance, small businesses often have a hard time getting started and maintaining their momentum. They typically have fewer resources than larger businesses, making them more vulnerable to economic downturns. And because they are less established, they often have trouble getting loans or attracting customers. That’s why it’s important to support small businesses. By shopping at local businesses and investing in startups, we can help create jobs and drive economic growth. We can also take pride in knowing that we’re supporting our neighbors and fellow citizens as they pursue their dreams. So next time you’re looking for a product or service, think local first. You just might be surprised at what you find. And you just might be helping to build a better future for us all.