All my life, my mom has done the majority of her grocery shopping at a small, locally owned chain back home in Northeast Ohio. She thinks it’s important to support your neighbors. And she’s right, of course. (Moms always are.)

Studies show that when you buy from independent, locally owned businesses, more of your money is used to purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms, resulting in a multiplier effect that strengthens a community’s economic base.

Thanks to Mom’s influence, I’ve long been a small business supporter. So when Anne and Walker Evans asked me if I’d like to head up their Columbus Underground spin-off, a website focused on small business and entrepreneurialism in Central Ohio, I eagerly accepted the challenge.

Now, nearly three years later, I’m leaving The Metropreneur to tackle a new professional challenge in the digital realm. But before I go, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge those who have been integral to the site’s growth thus far.

First, I’d like to thank the business owners I’ve interviewed during my time here. It’s been an honor and a privilege to relay your stories− your struggles and accomplishments, your hopes for the future and words of wisdom for your fellow entrepreneurs. You are some of the smartest, most determined, most resourceful and creative people I’ve ever come across. I hope I did you justice.

Next, I’d like to thank The Metropreneur’s readers. I so appreciate the fact that you’ve consistently taken time out of your busy days to read my stories, share my stories, and offer feedback. Please do the same for my successor. I know they’ll appreciate it.

I’d also like to thank the site’s many contributors. You’ve lightened my load and provided valuable content. From an editor’s perspective, it doesn’t get much better than that.

And last, but not least, I’d like to thank Anne and Walker. Not only did you give me a job when, quite frankly, I needed one, you gave me the chance to stretch myself journalistically and the opportunity to help build a media outlet from the ground up− two things for which I will always be grateful.