By Rieva Lesonsky

Is your small business ready to create local jobs? Americans have faith that you are. According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans are more confident in small business’s ability to create jobs than they are in any other person or institution’s abilities to do so.

Respondents were asked how much they trust the ideas and opinions of the following groups for creating jobs. Small business was trusted a moderate amount or a great deal by 79 percent of respondents. Close behind were “local business leaders,” with 74 percent. But the third-highest response on the list, “state governors,” was far behind at 57 percent.  “Executives at major corporations” were near the bottom of the scale with 44 percent.

“It is clear that in the public’s eyes, smaller is better,” the survey concludes. “Americans have more confidence in the views of small-business owners than in big-business CEOs, and more confidence in state governors and local mayors than in national congressional leaders of either party.”

If small is indeed beautiful, one way you can help create more jobs is by encouraging the people in your community to “shop local,” whether by visiting your restaurant, making a purchase from your store or visiting your hair salon or accounting practice.

How can you encourage shopping local? Here are a few ways:

  • Reach out to your community. Get involved in community events such as fund-raisers, fairs and carnivals. Volunteer for local charities or donate your products or services. Offer to speak at local organizations’ meetings. When people in the community know you, they’re more likely to patronize your business.
  • Point out to prospects and customers of the benefits of shopping local. Your website, ads and other marketing materials should remind people that when they shop local, they’re supporting local services with their tax dollars and helping keep jobs in the community.
  • Take part in Small Business Saturday. This nationwide movement initiated by American Express designates the day after Black Friday (November 26) as a day for shopping at local, independently owned small businesses. It’s not too late to benefit. Visit Small Business Saturday’s Facebook page to find out more, and be sure to “Like” them so you can get all the news, updates and tips on how to market your business for Small Business Saturday.

Keep marketing your business with these local angles and before you know it, you’ll be ready to create some new jobs!