Chamber Corner – May 30, 2022

Article Contributed by
Daniel J. Heitzenrater
President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce

Great Reasons to Work for a Small Business!

We are incredibly fortunate in Chautauqua County to be home to hundreds of small businesses. These companies span the spectrum of products and services offered including insurance and finance, restaurants, retail, automotive, lodging, attractions, and much more. One thing they all have in common at this time is the need for employees. As baby boomers have aged out – and our local population has aged and declined – small businesses are all seeking staff.

If you are looking for work, there are many reasons why you may want to consider working for a small business. We scoured a variety of sources including the job matching websites Monster and Indeed to choose the top ten:

1) Get a broad range of experience. Because there are fewer employees, job descriptions tend to be broader, and employees get a chance to sample a variety of tasks.

2) You’ll have fewer bosses. Small businesses generally don’t have multiple layers of supervisory staff, so you’ll report to one or two people – often the owner directly.

3) Cameraderie. When you work for a small business, you really get to know your co-workers. That means you’ll develop real relationships with other staff members and with customers.

4) Relaxed work environment and culture. Small businesses are often more relaxed in their dress codes and in their general work requirements. This can also extend to greater flexibility around things like remote work and office hours.

5) Stretch your creativity. There’s often more than one way to accomplish objectives. Working for a small company may give you greater opportunities to explore alternatives to see what works best for both you and your employer.

6) Choose your tech. Small companies often don’t have a dedicated IT department that requires specific software, brand use, or apps. You may get a say in what technical skills you can use or learn across a variety of platforms.

7) Opportunities for advancement. Small businesses are more likely to promote from within. Owners and managers can see firsthand how their existing employees tackle their work and challenges, giving you a chance to prove yourself and move up.

8) Recognition. Studies show that employees who feel valued are more likely to have greater job satisfaction (and more likely to stay on the job.) Small businesses are often creative with employee recognition programs.

9) Learn about sales. Small businesses that don’t have a specific sales department allow for many employees to learn about this crucial piece of any company. Sales are the life of a business, and learning this role brings you closer to a company’s mission and core values.

10) Because you may want to have your own business someday. Working for a small business in any field is a great way to try out your skills, likes and dislikes, and get a real feel for the type of work you may want to do.

The US Small Business Administration defines a small business as one with 500 or fewer employees. By that definition, most of the businesses in Chautauqua County are classified as small businesses. Around here, we generally consider small businesses as those with just a handful or a few dozen employees, and many of them are right now looking to hire help. Whether it’s a seasonal position or a year-round role, you may find your niche at a local small busines.

If you’re a local customer who frequents small businesses, we remind you that the whole world is short-staffed right now. Especially as our local small businesses gear up for the busy summer season ahead, please be patient and kind with the employees that are showing up to work.

Shop local. Shop small. Support our local small businesses throughout Chautauqua County.