The True Power of Supporting Small Businesses

JyssicaFeatured Customer, Creativity, Local Business

There is nothing that gives me more joy than connecting with another small business owner in my neighborhood, city, and state. We understand each other and what it takes to run a small business.


It takes courage, resiliency, hard work, resourcefulness and lots of heart and soul.


It can be challenging and it can be rewarding.


I love to share these statistics because I think it is surprising to hear…

  • 97% of Oregon’s employers are small businesses.

  • 98% of Portland’s neighborhood businesses have 5 or fewer employees.

  • 70% of every dollar you spend in local small businesses stays in the local economy.


Our customers at Paperjam are part of our community, and we give back to them as they have given to us.


On this Memorial Day, besides placing flowers on my mother’s grave, we spent several hours with a customer, Jarad Hadi, and his fiancée, Julia. Jarad is an Oregonian with Kurdish heritage and has just started his own vineyard in North Plains. He has studied the art and science of winemaking all over the world and has returned to his native land to start his own vineyard.


We loved exploring the property! Jarad and Julia were a joy to spend the day with.

It was inspiring to hear his dreams, see his hard work and drink the fruit of his labor. This is the beauty of one small business giving to another small business.



Our home block of Fremont Street here in Portland is lined with unique local businesses alone.


We visited our friends at Bolt Fabric to continue the conversation on the impact that supporting independent business truly makes.


We love seeing Paperjam out in the wild. We printed these empowering Cross Stitch kits by local stitch-kit company Junebug and Darlin!

Deb couldn’t resist looking through the unique clothing made right there at Bolt.

What a creative use of paper!


I spoke with Gina, the owner of Bolt Fabric, and a fellow small business advocate, about how we can better build a small business economy.  “I do really believe in my whole being that independent businesses are what make the backbone of a city,” she said. “People don’t travel to other destinations, like on vacation, to visit chain stores.”


These are the kind of experiences that fill me up and make me proud to be a small business owner. I have discovered that the relationships with my customers, neighbors, small business colleagues, and others is what gives life deeper meaning.


In this digital global, world which gives us the capability to reach far and wide, we can easily forget the importance of what is in our own backyard. I have developed a deeper and stronger foundation by embracing local and creating my community where I live and work. The deeper meaning of shopping local is knowing that your life will be richer when you have relationships with the farmers, merchants, and service providers in your neighborhoods, cities, and states. This is part of the value of shopping small and local.

Remember to think of your small businesses when you need to purchase something. You may pay a bit more but you will be gaining so much more by investing in your local economy to build a stronger foundation for resilience and stability.


With the joy of community,