GROTON -- FACETSetc, a specialized boutique offering unique and customized jewelry and artisan gifts, recently celebrated the first anniversary of the store's opening. Tracey Smith, owner said she was optimistic about success from the onset, because she knew she was meeting a local market need for her services.

"I'm thrilled at the reception my business has received from the surrounding communities," said Smith. "I already had an existing client base in the area, but extending the business to the retail location on Hollis Street in Groton last year provided me with the ability to better service my customers."

It's no surprise that small businesses have a significant place in the nation's economy. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that our economy is driven by small, private businesses, and Entrepreneur Magazine reported that small businesses account for 52.6 percent of all retail sales.

FACETSetc officially opened its doors in May last year, and has been met with overwhelming support from existing customers, new customers, and other local businesses.

"We're all facing the same challenges," Smith said. "We're trying to establish and grow our businesses in a relatively smaller geographic area."

Another increasing trend among small businesses is the use of social media. Clutch, a Washington, DC-based B2B research firm, surveyed 352 small businesses in January 2016, and found that 73 percent of small businesses currently use or plan to use social media in 2016.


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"Staying in touch with the local community is really important, so social media has become a big part of my business, Smith said. "You can use targeted posts and ads to reach people in certain geographic locations with certain interests, so you know your posts and ads are being seen by those who are most likely to purchase your goods or services. I have a very active and engaging Facebook presence and I just retooled my website, www.facetsetc.com."

While small local businesses continue to fight to survive, the trend may be slowly reversing as there is a decline in the failure rate of small businesses. An article in Entrepreneur titled, Why Small Business Failure Rates are Declining, states that one of the reasons business failure rates are in a long-term decline is that there are smarter small business owners who continue to innovate and expand their products and services to drive growth.

"If I look at my business as a whole, the sales of the artisan giftware and my own line of FACETS jewelry remain steady, but it's the jewelry repair, fine jewelry and custom work that has really taken off so I have to innovate around that," Smith said. "I've started a new program called 'It's Not Your Grandmother's Jewelry Anymore...' which specializes in converting estate and family pieces into modern jewelry. I recently removed pearl buttons from an antique First Communion dress and created a custom designed bracelet for a customer. Once, a customer brought me an old family silver spoon that became a stunning silver ring. I regularly design new pieces of jewelry from customers' antique or estate pieces that are either damaged or out of style."