Shopping Local: The Benefits

Picture your town without any small local shops, cafes, or restaurants. A sad picture, isn’t it? What would be left? Nothing but Walmarts, Bob Evans, and the occasional Starbucks? Small businesses paint a more unique, personalized, and exciting picture of the world we live in.

Shopping local is getting more and more difficult as companies like Amazon, Ebay, and even sites such as Mercari and Poshmark take the lead in online sales. Many people do not understand the true benefits of stopping by a locally owned store. Have you ever thought about walking downtown to some local boutiques, and how that decision can affect your community, tax dollars, and even the environment?

Here are the top 6 reasons why you need to shop, eat, and buy from small businesses during your next coffee break.

You will keep your money close.

For every $100 you spend at a locally owned businesses, $68 will stay within your own community. Only $43 stays within the community when you purchase from a large retail chain in your area. Even worse, $0 are given back to your community when you shop online, unless it is a local business’s website. More money within your neighborhood = a better local economy, and more diverse businesses (Civic Economics – Andersonville Study of Retail Economics).

You will create more jobs.

More than half of the United State’s jobs since 1995 have been created by small businesses. According to the SBA (Small Business Administration), large retail businesses eliminated 4 million jobs, while small businesses added 8 million jobs since 1990. The more you shop at a local company, the more job opportunities you can help them create. And then when you brag about the cool new shoes you got downtown, all your friends will flock to shop local too. Imagine the possibilities if we all shopped small for even a weekend what that would mean to our communities.

You will fight the impact of climate change.

Buying from a locally owned business conserves energy and resources. No packaging, no shipping, no burning fossil fuels for transportation… sounds like a win win. Likewise, when you eat local, your food is most likely not sprayed with pesticides and grown organically, because these businesses are not providing for hundreds of people everyday.

You will receive better customer service.

Small business owners strive to stay in business, so their services are unmatched. This is probably their biggest advantage over large retailers. They have less customers to interact with as well, which means the interaction will be more memorable and real. Shopping face-to-face means you are guaranteed your service/product as well, unlike when your Amazon package gets lost or damaged in delivery.

You will make your community a destination, not a stop. 

If everyone joins in to shop small, there’s no doubt that your community will thrive. The more interesting and unique your community is, the more you will attract new neighbors, visitors and guests.

You will create your own unique style. 

Shopping local, especially for clothes, gives you access to unique pieces that you can’t find at any American Eagle. Boutique owners have more of a passion for clothes, and will provide more fun pieces. A large retailer is often started by someone who desires to make money, and doesn’t necessarily think about the fashion involved, or even the customer. Local businesses carry a wid­er array of unique products, because they buy simply for their own individual markets.

Shopping local doesn’t need to be hard.

Start off providing for your community with Small Business Saturday. Visit this link to explore the many, many ways you can start to shop small. — https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/