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Quote of the Day

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."   Dr. Suess

Small businesses are an important part of any healthy community as they provide a unique and personal touch and contribute to the local economy. However, supporting small businesses should not be a one-way street. It is essential to acknowledge that small businesses also have a crucial responsibility to give back to the communities that support them. By doing so, they can help ensure a thriving and dynamic future for everyone.
Why Support Small Businesses?
  • Local Economic Boost: Money spent at small businesses recirculates within the community, creating a multiplying effect benefiting everyone.
  • Job Creation: Small businesses are primary job creators, strengthening the economic backbone of their towns and cities.
  • Character and Charm: Small businesses offer a distinctness and personality that chain stores can never replicate.
  • Customer Service: Often, small business owners go above and beyond to provide personalized service and build relationships with their customers.
The Responsibility of Small Businesses
Small businesses play a crucial role in the development and growth of our communities. While it's evident that we want these businesses to succeed, we must also acknowledge that they have a responsibility to support and contribute to the community that helps them thrive. This is because a thriving community helps small businesses grow, and in turn, these businesses must reciprocate by investing in and supporting the community. Here's why:
  • Stagnation vs. Growth: A community without small businesses giving back risks becoming stagnant. New blood, fresh ideas, and the entrepreneurial spirit found within small businesses are vital catalysts for economic growth.
  • Preservation and Progress: Without growth, there are shrinking tax bases and decreased funding to preserve the things that make a community special. This can include the historical integrity of areas like Downtowns, often held up by a District Authority (DDA). In efforts to protect history, communities may inadvertently stifle progress by keeping new, innovative businesses out.
  • Community Investment: Small businesses often take pride in their towns and want to see them succeed. Giving back – whether through charitable donations, sponsorships, or volunteer work – demonstrates a commitment to building a better future for everyone.
A Call to Action
Supporting small businesses means understanding that the relationship is symbiotic. When we shop locally, we cast a vote for the kind of community we want. And for small businesses, success shouldn't just be measured in profits. We can encourage small businesses by:
  • Shopping there intentionally: Choose the local store when possible, even if it means a slight price difference.
  • Advocating for small businesses: Encourage local policies that support them such as your local Chamber of Commerce and other Economic Growth organizations. 
  • Holding businesses accountable: Express appreciation for small businesses that give back and respectfully suggest that others could do more.
Only with a collaborative effort between communities and the small businesses within them can we create vibrant, prosperous places to live. Let's remember – it's not just about keeping small businesses alive, but about helping both the community and the business itself thrive!
Interesting Statistics
Job Creation:
  • Small businesses employ nearly half (46%) of the American private sector workforce and are credited with creating 63% of new jobs from 1995 to 2021.
  • Small businesses often stimulate job creation in other sectors through demand for their goods and services, fostering a multiplier effect.
Economic Impact:
  • There are 33.2 million small businesses in the US, accounting for 43.5% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Thriving small businesses contribute to higher local tax revenue, which communities can use for various initiatives, including infrastructure development, education, and community programs.
Community Vibrancy and Identity:
  • A study by the Kauffman Foundation found that communities with higher rates of new business creation had higher levels of civic engagement and stronger social cohesion.
  • Small businesses contribute to the unique character and personality of a community, offering diverse products and services not readily available in chain stores.
  • Despite challenges, the number of small businesses in the U.S. has actually doubled since 1982.
Entrepreneurial Spirit:
  • Since the pandemic began, there has been a surge in new business applications, with over 16 million filed since 2021, resulting in 2.8 million new businesses established.
  • Interestingly, the average small business is actually operated by a single founder, highlighting the strong individual drive for entrepreneurship in the US.
  • While financial gain is a factor, a surprising 60% of individuals start businesses to be their own boss and have greater control over their work.
Challenges and Opportunities:
  • Despite the high number of new businesses, the reality is that 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.
  • While many small businesses contribute significantly to their communities, there's still room for improvement. Only 65% of small businesses are reported to be profitable, indicating the need for continued support and resources to help them thrive.
These statistics showcase the crucial role small businesses play in the US economy and the entrepreneurial spirit driving innovation and job creation. However, they also highlight the challenges they face and the importance of fostering an environment that supports their growth and encourages them to contribute to the well-being of their communities.
By: Washington County Chamber of Commerce

Local News

Education News

Business News

Small Business Week 2024: How Small Businesses Impact Our Economy

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  Every year since 1963, U.S. presidents have issued a Small Business Week proclamation to recognize the contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners. The theme of Small Business Week 2024, which runs from April 28 – May 4, is “Building on the Small Business Boom.” A small business is one with fewer than 500 employees, according ...

Local Resident Was Named An American Institute of Architects

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Local resident John Hawkins was named an American Institute of Architects (AIA) fellow in 2024. This is one of the highest honors that an architect can receive, and he was the only fellow named from Indiana in 2024. Very few architects receive this honor. John resides in Fredericksburg, Ind., from Salem, and is a graduate of Salem High School. He ...

Indiana Needs Broadband To The Last Acre

26 Mar 2024

Indiana needs broadband to the last acre By: Randy Kron, president of Indiana Farm Bureau Rural broadband access is essential to the farms that grow our food, farm families and the quality of life for rural Hoosiers. According to the 2022 Ag Census, 28% of farms in Indiana don’t have reliable broadband. Technology and connectivity are more impor ...

Washington County Farmers’ Market Opening Day is May 11th

14 Mar 2024

The Washington County Farmers’ Market will open with local goods raised and produced within Washington and adjacent counties on Saturday, May 11, 2024.  The market will continue on Saturdays from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm at the Washington County Justice Center parking lot at 801 Jackson St. in Salem through October.  When produce is more plenti ...

Symbiotic Success: Small Businesses and Their Communities

27 Feb 2024

Small businesses are an important part of any healthy community as they provide a unique and personal touch and contribute to the local economy. However, supporting small businesses should not be a one-way street. It is essential to acknowledge that small businesses also have a crucial responsibility to give back to the communities that support t ...

The Mill Catalyzes Entrepreneurial Growth through Indiana Uplands Accelerator

23 Feb 2024

IEDC funds vision to create a thriving ecosystem for startups and scalable businesses in the Uplands Region  Bloomington, Ind.—The Mill, Bloomington’s nonprofit center for entrepreneurship, announced today that it will be piloting a new accelerator program in the Uplands Region. Indiana Uplands Accelerator is a transformative initia ...

Obstacles Facing Small Businesses in the Modern Economy

12 Feb 2024

The latest MetLife and U.S Chamber of Small Business Index has identified issues that many small businesses are confronting in the current economic climate. Small businesses are the economic engine that runs countries across the globe. Such businesses comprise a larger share of the economic landscape than big firms. Despite how essential a thr ...

Mid-Southern Bancorp, Inc. announces its Quarterly Cash Dividend

25 Jan 2024

Mid-Southern Bancorp, Inc. (“Company”) (OTCQX:MSVB), the holding company for Mid-Southern Savings Bank, FSB (“Bank”), announced that its Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per share on the Company’s outstanding common stock. The cash dividend will be payable on February 23, 2024 to shareholders of record as of the close ...

Sports News


Government News

IN AG Sends Out $8.8 Million In Next Round Of Opioid Settlement Funds To Hoosier Communities

17 May 2024

  Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is dispensing more than $8.8 million to Indiana cities, towns and counties in the next round of opioid settlement funds distributed under his leadership.  Attorney General Rokita and his team secured these settlements from companies that allegedly contributed to the state’s opioid epidemic through ...

IN AG Warns College Officials: Hateful Antisemitic Acts Against Jewish Students Will Not Be Tolerated On Campus

15 May 2024

  Following months of campus protests sometimes featuring troubling anti-Jewish propaganda, Attorney General Todd Rokita warned college officials they are duty-bound to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by combating all forms of antisemitism on their campuses — or risk losing their federal funding. "My team and I are dee ...

Crown Hill Could See Natural Burials

15 May 2024

  By Becky Killian, Staff Writer Officials have taken the first step that could allow a section of Crown Hill Cemetery to be set aside for natural burials. The decision was made during the Monday, May 13, meeting of the Salem Common Council. Brock and Carrie Chastain, of Weathers Funeral Home, requested the changes necessary to allow natura ...

City, County Dispatch Could Merge

15 May 2024

  By Becky Killian, Staff Writer   Salem officials have approved an agreement that would allow the merger of the city’s dispatch department with the county’s 911 center.The unanimous vote was held during the Monday, May 13, meeting of the Salem Common Council. All members were in attendance. Mayor Justin Green explained that weeks’ wo ...

Houchin Introduces Legislation to Break Down Barriers to Higher Education for Homeless and Foster Youth

10 May 2024

   In honor of National Foster Care Month— Representative Erin Houchin (R-IN), Representative Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), and Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) reintroduced the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act to remove barriers to higher education for homeless and fost ...

IN AG Co-Leads 25-State Lawsuit To Pull The Plug On Biden’s 'Clean Power Plan 2.0'

10 May 2024

  Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is co-leading a 25-state lawsuit that seeks to overturn an invasive new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that threatens the reliability of our power grid and will once again jack up utility costs for regular, everyday Hoosiers. Attorney General Rokita’s latest fight against continued EPA ...

No Laws Require Use Of Preferred Pronouns

10 May 2024

  After state Rep. Mike Speedy raised the issue, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita this week produced an advisory opinion clarifying that neither state nor federal law requires a coworker to use the preferred pronouns and names of fellow employees.  An employer therefore is likely not liable in cases where staff members choose not to ...

IDVA Grants Available For Non-Profits That Serve Veterans: Apply by May 15

03 May 2024

INDIANAPOLIS –The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) will award grant money to non-profit organizations throughout the state that assist veterans with a variety of services. Solicitation for awards through the Grants for Veterans Services (GVS) is now open through May 15, 2024. Eligible applicants must be a non-profit organization regis ...

Lifestyle News

Latest Washington County Mugshots

The following individuals were arrested recently by local law enforcement agencies. Those listed, in most cases, are just facing charges at this point, and are to be considered innocent of those charges unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. Charges are often dropped or lessened. Mugshots are collected from local law enforcement agencies on Mondays and are public records. 


Gavinn M. Fields
Terena S. Wheat
Brenda S. Warren
William M. Rose
Justin N. Brooks
William J. Wright
Gregory D. Lammers
Darrin W. Mitchell
Mikel S. Cleek
Tyran D. McMillian
Jon A. Arnold
Robert L. Bentel