Cheers to our Small Businesses!


The TV show “Cheers” had us singing, “Where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.” The song reminds us of those local small businesses where you are known and matter, and it’s those businesses we give “cheers” to during National Small Business Month, which is this month, if you hadn’t heard.

What do these small businesses do? If you don’t own or work for a small business, chances are you benefit from them. Businesses that employ fewer than 50 employees represent 96 percent of the businesses in the state of Washington and Spokane County, and employ 41 percent of our workforce (and statistics can’t calculate the investment they make to their local communities).

With more than 1,000 GSI members classified as small businesses, it’s time to celebrate the BIG impact this sector has on our region, our state and our national economy.

The 3rd Annual Small Business Appreciation Reception on May 22nd will be held at a local small business, Barrister Winery. Founded by two attorneys in a garage, their “little hobby” took a life of its own, and this year alone Barrister will release approximately 3,600 cases of wine to Northwest restaurants and wineries (now that’s a lot of wine). Barrister even invites purchases to be made online. Another favorite, Beacon Hill Events, will provide hors d’oeurvres at the celebration. As a family-owned business, they are committed to attentive service and delicious delights, and owner Pete Rayner and Ellie Aaro are deeply connected to their roots in the Spokane Region.

It’s these businesses and many others we give cheers to and say thanks for their perseverance to invest in our region. In addition, GSI’s 27th Annual AGORA Awards on May 30th will recognize some small businesses in the Small Nonprofit and Small Business categories.

Those are only a few of the many things happening in the Spokane Region, as others are showing appreciation to small business owners:

  • The Small Business Administration honored small business champion awards and our very own Inland Northwest NAWBO received the 2012 Women in Business Regional Champion of the Year Award.

The best way to show appreciation to our small businesses is to Buy Local. Support job creation locally – with every dollar you invest in a small business, you are casting your vote to strengthen our local community and economy.

Cheers to our small businesses!


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