Although once assumed to be doomed to the dustbin of history, local independent businesses are showing remarkable signs of renewed vitality and resurgence as more and more consumers realize the power of buying locally. What began as a preference for locally produced goods and services has evolved into an entire movement that is gaining momentum and influencing consumers’ shopping habits nationwide. If you still need convincing, here are ten reasons why shopping local is beneficial to your community:
1. Local Character and Prosperity
Independent businesses are what make a community unique and desirable destinations for locals and tourists alike. Communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.
2. Community Well-Being
Shopping local creates a sense of belonging in the community and encourages personal relationships between businesses, consumers and neighbors. Local business owners are also more likely to contribute to local causes. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses donate twice as much per employee to local charities than large businesses.
3. Local Decision-Making
Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
4. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy
One of the main reasons shoppers prefer to spend their money locally is the economic benefits of doing so. According to Civic Economics and the American Booksellers Association, Independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors.
5. Job and Wages
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses accounted for 65% of all net new jobs over the past 15 years. Local businesses create more jobs and small business owners often value their employees more than larger companies. The loyalty between employee and employer that is somewhat extinct in the corporate world is still alive and well in independent businesses.
Innovation breeds innovation, so the more unique independent businesses that exist in a community, the more likely other entrepreneurs are to put their ideas into fruition and open their own business.
7. Public Benefits and Costs
Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
8. Environmental Sustainability
Shopping local means not having to travel far to purchase goods and services, which in turn means less pollution. Plus, many small businesses make a concentrated effort to use green practices to become more environmentally sustainable.
A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
10. Product Diversity
When you shop at an independently owned business, you’re more likely to find one-of-a-kind products that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Small business owners hand select the items they sell, which gives shoppers more options and a better variety to choose from.