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BizX Community | Small Business Weekend

Small Business Saturday 2021...Let's All Join Forces

November 27, 2021 | Written by Bob Bagga

It’s safe to say that the power of small businesses is one of the most underestimated and misunderstood concepts today.

Small businesses, like so many in our barter network, too often get pigeonholed as tiny “mom-and-pop” stores in need of attention or charity compared to the big brick-and-mortar stores. That’s not entirely untrue – small businesses can be a one-person business the size of a 3x5 cart that’s squeezed into the sidewalk between where residents walk and where cars roll by. And yes, especially in times like we’ve experienced since early 2020, small businesses do need our help.

But when taken together, small businesses become a behemoth: the 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S. make up for 99.9% of all businesses, accounting for nearly 65% of all new jobs in the U.S. These small businesses make up the fabric of our community, and it’s heartening to remember numbers like the above while facing constant existential threats from Amazon, Walmart, Target and the like.

What is often lost amid the conversations about those massive corporations—how much to regulate them, how to help level the playing field for small businesses, etc.—is the reality that they were all small businesses once dealing with the same growing pains and struggles that you might be.

Before Amazon was the world’s largest retailer, an employee would ring a bell in their office every time a purchase was made, and the team would gather around the computer to see if they knew the customer. Meanwhile, the company’s servers required so much power that Jeff Bezos and his wife couldn’t run a vacuum or hair dryer without blowing a fuse.

I’m not sharing these stories for the sake of mythologizing, but rather because this sounds like so many of the small businesses I know and work with in the BizX community. Amazon and Walmart won’t reign supreme forever, and the smartest and most strategic small businesses won’t stay small forever.

It’s been reported that 91% of the time, consumers will opt to shop at small businesses when convenient, and 74% look for ways to support small businesses even if it’s not particularly convenient.

This isn’t just a set of talking points for me. I am who I am thanks to small businesses; I’ve worked for them, started them, and currently am the CEO of a small business that provides an ecosystem for other small businesses to connect with each other.

This is about much more than just me though; small businesses are the ones out there sponsoring Little League teams, funding PTAs, working with local charities and giving back on the most grassroots level possible. They build relationships with other small business owners along with their neighbors and community leaders, which is as much a part of the entrepreneurial spirit as coming up with a good business idea.

It may not seem like it if you’re glued to CNBC and Bloomberg all day, but our country’s biggest innovations and partnerships are seeded in relationships between small businesses like these.

Earlier this year during Small Business Week, my company shared a number of stories from small businesses that we work with, filled with anecdotes, wisdom and advice for others. This was a particularly reflective week for many small business owners, given how much of their livelihood was upended in the last year.

Outside of those who run small businesses, I saw an endless stream of community leaders and politicians affirming their unending support for small businesses. But the more of these messages I saw, the more I wondered what would become of these words by the following week. Did we keep that sentiment alive or simply return to the big box chains for groceries and household items?

I’m writing this now on Small Business Saturday to remind us all to keep that spirit alive and do our part to shop local in order to keep the vital fabric of America’s main streets alive for decades to come. Small businesses provide the pulse for our country – keeping it moving forward, letting us know what people need and want, sharing our vastly different cultures, and so on.

So spend some time this winter stopping by businesses that have likely been hurting the past two years. Don’t forget the always-growing number of online small businesses either.

Additionally, gift cards are a great way to support businesses even if you don’t necessarily need their services right that moment; whether they’re for wineries, cafes, restaurants, or spas, these can be used to reward employees or stakeholders if you don’t end up using them yourself.

If we all just took 10% of our purchases from larger retailers, how much business would that lead back to small businesses? And from there, I’m confident that if we can do 10%, we can do 20% and really form a movement.

Whether it’s Small Business Saturday or any day, you should always be thinking about what you’re going to do to support small business - the fabric of our communities and the heartbeat of our country. And if you are a business owner, keep pushing, keep innovating, keep making connections, and always remember where you started out.

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BizX Education | BizX Community | Holiday Shopping

Unlock the BizX Benefit of Perks this Holiday Season!

November 23, 2021 | Written by BizX

  (A few of the many BizX members that Perks cardholders have frequented using their BizX dollars!)

For the vast majority of holiday shoppers, we have found ourselves in this situation: stretched thin for time, not super clear on what the recipient(s) needs or wants, we speed walk to that "giant front rack in the sky" of gift cards. Fast food sports bar? Online app store? Oh perfect - an American Express/Visa/Mastercard gift card! They can use it on anything! Then the cashier rings up your cash total and you start thinking of all your holiday cash expenses. There has to be a better way...

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Using BizX | Barter Exchange | Holiday Shopping

The Annual Guide to BizX Your Way Through the Holiday Season!

November 18, 2021 | Written by BizX

And just like that, it is here again. The Holiday Season can bring a range of emotions, yet we believe that the opportunity as a BizX member to leverage products and services on our barter exchange can make your gift giving as painless as possible. Here we go again with a quick guide to BizX members' holiday offers:

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Member Spotlight | BizX Community | Success Stories

BizX Success: Urban Interiors

November 4, 2021 | Written by BizX

Building connections, making strong first impressions, and putting you and your company “out there” are obviously key drivers to sales success. So, it is not the least bit surprising that when Al Moscatel and Bob Bagga met in the same room over a decade ago, it began a long-standing relationship between two gregarious business owners. When discussing how he first heard of BizX, his one word answer of – “BOB” – can be echoed by many business owners in similar situations. As many have said in this space before, Moscatel, who along with his family members own and manage Urban Interiors of Bellevue as well as the 13 Coins Restaurants, was curious about how so many others were unlocking ways to create better cashflow and new partnerships by implementing a barter business model.

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Member Spotlight | BizX Community | Success Stories | barter

BizX Success: San Diego International Film Festival

October 13, 2021 | Written by BizX

Have you ever planned a pizza and movie night for a bunch of friends? On paper, it may seem like a walk in the park, but then you realize you need to set a timeline, get a consensus on toppings and the type of movie. Even then, it may seem daunting. Now imagine organizing a movie night over 10 straight days with 15,000 friends at screens throughout the 8th largest city in America?! This is where one may look at their budget strategy and cash flow and need to get creative.

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