Six Reasons to Shop Local
“A small business is part of the heartbeat of the larger community” – Ellen Thrasher, associate administrator for the Department of Entrepreneurship at the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Small Business Administration.
1. Strengthen Your Local Economy
Each dollar you spend at independent businesses is likely to return 3 times more money to your local economy than one spent at a chain (Amiba). When you shop at local small businesses, tax money is staying in your town. Additionally, with each small local business comes an opportunity for growth and advancement for a bigger business. Think about corporations like Nike or Ben and Jerry’s, they each started with one locally owned store which eventually turned into a bigger economic development. Small businesses that grow into large businesses often remain in the community in which the business was first established. (smallbusiness.chron.com).
2. Job Availability
Not only do independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, they also are the customers of local printers, accountants, wholesalers, farms, attorneys, etc., expanding opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Also as previously mentioned, having a large corporation headquartered in a community can further help provide employment and stimulate the local economy. Think about it – when you spend money at a local store, it is likely going into the paycheck of your friends, families or neighbors. Thereafter, they will also shop in their community stores causing a “chain-reaction” of local success.
3. Community Well-Being
Supporting local business not only helps economic development, but also helps establish social relationships among community members. Many local businesses are not only owned, but also operated first-hand by the owner who most likely is invested in building relationships with community members. And as the customer, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction when you walk into a small business and the owner calls you by name. These days, shopping is as much about the product that you are buying as it is about the relationships and transaction at the shop.
4. Environmental Sustainability
Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution (ISLR.org). They are people-sized and consume less land and resources in order to function. Another point to be made is that with the local businesses, usually the owners also live in that community. Therefore, they will be more likely to follow an environmentally conscious business model in order to keep their own neighborhood safe.
5. Local Support
Local businesses are more likely to participate in fundraisers held by community members, or even sponsor events and sports teams. For example, if the local soccer team is in need of a sponsor for an upcoming tournament, they are more likely to go to a local business versus a large corporation like Walmart. Therefore, by shopping at local, small businesses, you are indirectly helping those organizations.
Additionally, a thriving local business will generate high levels of revenue, which means that the business will pay higher taxes, including local taxes. This money is then used for local police and fire departments as well as schools (smallbusiness.chron.com).
6. Product Diversity
Leading the way for local entrepreneurs to get their ideas on the market, small local businesses are more likely to offer that “one-of-a-kind” product that you might not be able to find at a bigger wholesale store. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choice (ISLR.org). Having that originality in small-town, local business also gives your community it’s own style or flair. Tourists from other areas will appreciate the uniqueness that these types of stores have to offer.