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When It Comes to Small Businesses, Their Impact on the Economy Is Anything but Tiny

Barry Elwonger, director of sales and marketing at Motorworks Brewing, knows how valuable small businesses are to communities, and offers some creative tactics for navigating these trying times. 

Barry Elwonger

Director of Sales and Marketing, Motorworks Brewing

What inspired you to help create hand sanitizers during today’s current pandemic? 

Despite this being the hardest time in our company’s history — our taproom is limited to to-go sales, and all on-premise establishments are shut down for 30 days, we knew we had to take care of our community. We pride ourselves on being a community gathering space, and we wanted to do anything we could to help keep people safe. 

Why do you think supporting small business is important? 

Small business is the backbone of our country, responsible for 45 percent of the total U.S. economic activity, and comprising 41 percent of private sector employment. The dollars earned and used are spent in our communities and help each area flourish. 

How can small businesses support their local community?

Small businesses support local communities in myriad ways, whether it be providing a needed product or service locally, providing places for the community to gather, donating to local nonprofit causes, or simply providing jobs that lead to spending in other community services. 

What makes a small business successful?

Solid structure leads to success for small business. Have sound standard operating procedures in place, reward employees who excel in their positions, and encourage ongoing education, training, and team building opportunities. Remember to discipline as needed for those who deviate from acceptable behavior. Encourage friendly competition and a culture that strives to be the best in every facet of the business. 

Do you have any advice for our small business owners?

Don’t be afraid to pivot despite your original plan. Our top selling product (Pulp Friction) was supposed to be seasonal, but we quickly realized the positive sales trends surpassing original projections and diverted the necessary resources to allow it to continue to flourish. We have also been on the other side, putting additional resources into a slow mover that we loved but should have cut. When the market speaks, listen.

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