Join the Rally Around Small Business

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Small businesses make up 99.7% of businesses in the United States. Even a company that employs fewer than 500 can generate millions in annual revenue.

For generations, small businesses have employed the residents of the Mahoning and Shenango valleys, who in turn spend their income at local restaurants and retailers. That circulation of dollars keeps communities vibrant and fuels the economic engine nationally, regionally and locally.

Now, as the regional economy endures significant changes, it is more important than ever to support and patronize these small businesses, says Andrea Wood, publisher of The Business Journal.

“These last two years have seen the closing of major retailers in our area, as well as two major employers in Northside Hospital and General Motors Lordstown,” Wood says. “And while we remain hopeful that GM will allocate a new vehicle to that plant, or a new owner will take it over, we’re calling on the residents and business professionals in the region to support our small businesses that continue to work to keep our economy strong.”

Throughout the month of May, The Business Journal is rolling out the Rally Around Small Business campaign, which is intended to recognize the “Unsung Heroes” in the region who exemplify what it means to be a small business. In addition to providing outstanding customer service and offering unique products or experiences, these unsung heroes are active in our community and go above and beyond to treat their employees well, she says.

Business leaders, residents and company employees can nominate small businesses that deserve recognition. Simply go to and fill out the form. All nominees will be listed online and a selection committee will choose three businesses to receive multi-media marketing packages with The Business Journal.

The committee will include members of The Business Journal staff as well as representatives from campaign sponsors, including Home Savings Bank and the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University.

Nominations will be accepted until May 31 and winners will be announced in the MidJune issue. However, Wood reminds residents that this isn’t about establishing “the best small business” in the region, she says. Rather, the intent of the campaign is to call attention to the value of all small business, “particularly the ones you may not have even known were here,” she says.

“There are manufacturers and machine shops in our region that supply markets nationally and even internationally,” she says. “That’s a big deal, and it proves that small business is big business in our region.”

The May and MidMay editions of The Business Journal will feature profile stories about these small businesses along with pictures and listings, supplemented by videos at

Accompanying coverage in print and online will examine the challenges small businesses face, how to overcome those challenges, and where small-business owners can go for help. The Business Journal will compile a compendium of how-to tips, strategies and resources that business owners can turn to all year long.

“This is what The Business Journal has been about since we started the paper in 1984,” Wood says. “It’s our hope that this campaign generates the excitement, support and assistance for small businesses in our region, because we’re all in this together.”

Watch the video above to learn more

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.