Small business statistics that are mind boggling. There are 27.2 million small businesses in the United States. Between February 2008 and February 2009 one million small business jobs have been lost and estimates call for two million more jobs in small business to be lost by January 2010.  Fortune Small Business magazine reported that 40% of high tech specialists, whether they are scientists, engineers or computer workers, are employed by small business.  The good news shows  a Feb. 2009 survey by WE/Media/Zogby International that 63% of Americans believe that small business owners will lead to US to a better future.

Local small business, it’s the life blood of our country, and I’m on a mission to support them, so for my friends who  are local, here’s some of my top picks!  And for my friends who live all across the country, go search them out in your own neighborhoods and support them!

So this is a great little market that sells local produce, and organic meat.  Lot’s of local history as well.  Check out their philosophy, especially regarding their meat. I really love it, especially  after all the scare about mad cow disease, it’s the next best thing to growing it yourself.

Check out the you tube video on painted hills beef site, they do a good job of telling the rancher’s story. I love the hills they have on their site, having seen them first hand, they are perfectly named!  I enjoyed the videos  because it makes me feel good about buying from a group of local families who depend upon my support to feed their families. It kind of reminds  me of our own  families history when my husbands great grandfather ranched and homesteaded in Montana, started the first school on his ranch, after coming here from Slovakia.  It was a hard life, but they survived.

A great local breakfast place, that has been closed for a while and has been remodeled and is re-opening.  Breakfast places are hard to find around here.   When my daughter was young, we had a Sunday morning family  tradition of going out for breakfast to Buds, it was a little hole in the wall place, that everyone went to,  you knew everyone, it had history,  and it was so sad when they closed.  So I am excited that this place is opening back up and bringing back the history and a sense of community back to the valley!

Another great local business, that has fond memories for our family.  When the kids were in Jr. High school, we heard about this crazy idea, called disco bowling.  All the mom’s were wondering what the heck this was, so we all got together and decided to take the kids bowling, it went kind of late if I remember right.  Of course, the mom’s all had to be “over there” away from the kids.  So we decided to have a few lanes ( quite a few over ) of our own fun Disco music, and the fogger machine.  I’m not sure they still do that, but it’s a great place to take the family.

This a charming family owned Italian cafe, with homemade food made fresh daily,  reasonable pricing and a comfortable homey atmosphere.  They carry a great wine selection, and microbrews.  Everyone in town loves this place.  I love it when they have the garlic festival, they pair wine with dishes that are made with lots of garlic and they taste wonderful together.   If you love garlic and Italian, try this place out.