Over the past two decades, as the HollyFrontier Navajo Refinery has more than doubled its output, the surrounding community of Artesia, New Mexico has developed its local business district to support this unprecedented growth. On the outskirts of the Permian Basin – and within the third largest oil-producing state in the country – this southwestern farming town is a model example of what’s possible when refineries and small businesses work together as one community.

The impact of this relationship spans from Main Street and beyond, reaching virtually all local businesses — from doctors and tailors to shopkeepers, construction workers, and refinery suppliers.

“Everybody in Artesia contributes to the health of the industry. The industry contributes to the health of the community. It’s a symbiotic relationship,” explains Hayley Klein, executive director of the Artesia Chamber of Commerce.

Jim Stump, senior vice president of refining for HollyFrontier Corporation, says that the businesses in Artesia are key to the success of HollyFrontier’s Navajo Refinery operations. “Being a small town in a fairly rural setting, our employees enjoy the convenience of outstanding goods and services in the town where they live and work. We also have a large influx of workers who perform turnarounds and projects, and without the services offered by the businesses in Artesia, it would be very difficult to house and feed these transient workers. We are proud to support our local businesses and at the same time, we are grateful that they are here to support us.”

This Small Business Saturday, we’re celebrating local entrepreneurs and small businesses like the ones in Artesia. AFPM members nationwide rely on small enterprises to supply critical goods and offer the necessary products and services to our employees, including lodging, banking and health and wellness services. Working together, local businesses and AFPM member companies strengthen economies by generating revenue, creating jobs, supporting well-paid workforces, and giving back to the neighborhoods where employees work and live.

This can mean donating money and time to charities, volunteering in schools and for local government boards, and purchasing goods to support businesses on Main Street. As an annual tradition, for example, Navajo Refinery employees raise funds to “adopt” local families during the holiday season, giving neighbors in need the chance to celebrate Christmas with presents under the tree.

Artesia is just one example of this close community bond. At the 117 refineries and 248 petrochemical factories across the country, refiners and petrochemical manufacturers, directly and indirectly, support millions of stable, well-paying jobs for hardworking Americans, often through local businesses.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities. We are proud to work alongside these local shops and suppliers, and we thank them for helping us operate in towns across the country.