If you’ve been around Superior and Douglas County in the past five years, you’ve seen it — the growth, a new energy and a changing persona of what Superior is all about.

The empty storefronts being filled, larger businesses expanding their headquarters, manufacturing moving into larger spaces, and "Now hiring" signs all over have been staples over the last few years.

Superior’s business community has been seeing unprecedented growth, and as Jim Caesar, our close economic development partner and executive director at The Development Association would say, “Welcome to the Boomtown.”

Having both big and small businesses in a community and fostering an environment where both can grow is important to keeping a local economy strong. We need businesses of all sizes, and Superior and Douglas County are lucky to have such a mix as it supports a diverse economy, creates a shared workforce, and leads to an increase in community support.

Businesses of all sizes and types support our community in numerous ways, directly and indirectly. Every one manufacturing job supports approximately six general community jobs. For every dollar spent at a small business, nearly 70% stays within the local economy.

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New developments create opportunities for engineering, construction and trade jobs. Each new business opening a storefront will spur the local supply chain, organic growth, trade, and inspire more small business entrepreneurship.

This growth causes the hospitality, food and beverage industry to also grow, as the growth in other sectors creates a demand for a better quality of life throughout the region, which in turn supports and grows the tourism industry and what it offers our visitors and locals alike. This symbiotic and reciprocal relationship then leads to the business’ support of the community via donations to local events, clubs and organizations, helping keep our community going strong.

It is important to show support to businesses of all sizes and types in the same way they show support for our community. At the Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce, we work daily to advocate and advance the business interests and foster community growth throughout Superior and Douglas County. The issues and concerns of the business community are our issues and concerns.

We advocate on behalf of the business community at the local, state and federal levels and work to keep our business community informed, as well as illustrate their unique to community leaders.

One major way we celebrate and congratulate our business community is by hosting our Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Business Awards. This annual get together welcomes all of the new community businesses from the prior year to attend and be showcased as award nominees.

We also believe that by hosting this event, we are painting a positive picture for all commerce and also providing focus on all of our business nominees — from our youngest new businesses to our oldest cornerstone organizations — to celebrate their achievements and highlight their successes.

We welcome all businesses to join the Chamber, big and small, because in all, it takes a community to support a community.

Buying and supporting all local businesses is one way we can support one another and be a voice for the positive growth we have been and continue to see.

Good things are on the horizon; let's make sure everyone gets there together.

Nikky Farmakes is the director of marketing and social media at the Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce.