Small Businesses Can Make a Large Impact

As Small Business Saturday quickly approaches, it is important to support the small businesses inside our communities.  When I think of small businesses, what normally comes to my mind are local coffee shops, restaurants, and bakeries.  I don’t normally think of pharmacies, but independent pharmacies are a very important small business to consider supporting, not just on Small Business Saturday.  I’m guessing I’m not the only one who missed the independent pharmacy train, so it might be helpful to shed some light on just how important they are to our communities.

In Pennsylvania alone, there are a total of 960 independent pharmacies that employ over 9,000 people full-time.  The total sales in PA are almost $3.5 billion, with over $260,000,000 of that total from non-pharmacy products.  That’s $3.5 billion dollars that stays in our local communities.  Not to mention that more than 80% of independent pharmacies nationwide are located in communities with a population of 50,000 or less, which provides access to health care services to areas that are underserved and would otherwise have to travel far distances to access health care.  To put that into perspective, only 8 cities in Pennsylvania have more than 50,000 residents.  The money you spend at a small business goes towards Susie’s mortgage, who lives down the street from you, or towards Bill’s son’s college fund, who goes to school with your child.  The fate of small businesses can be secured with the support of those in our communities.

Not only do independent pharmacies provide income and health care to local communities, they provide personalized and unique services that are less accessible with big chain stores.  Without the fast-paced prescription cycle, independent pharmacists can spend the time to properly counsel and educate patients on their medications and disease states.  Independent pharmacies are also usually the first to create and implement new programs to improve adherence and patient health.

So, when Small Business Saturday rolls around this year, consider supporting your local independent pharmacy by stopping in and discovering what unique services it offers to benefit you.  In turn, your business will benefit the pharmacy and your community.  It’s a win, win, win!


Written by Kelsey Miller, LECOM Pharm.D. Candidate 2019


Published November 2018

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