If you’re lucky enough to live in a town like I do, you have many local shopping options available. Not only do local options increase your choices of where to buy, they also benefit the community in many ways we take for granted.
So as a refresher, here are my biggest reasons for shopping local.
To nurture community
Have you ever heard the phrase, “communities are built on the backs of small businesses”? This was a phrase I, like many of you, grew up hearing.
And I mostly took it for granted.
As I got older, I started to realize what that phrase meant.
Perhaps the first time it really hit home for me was when I worked at my first small business. Everything about it was different. I knew everyone in the company. I knew all of my customers, and they knew us. The sense of community in that store is one I had never felt before, and have not felt since.
I think we all have those places.
The old bookshops that smell like home. The ring of the bell at a local butchers, the cashier that has checked you out for the last five years. These moments are all found at small businesses.
Not only do they help you define home, they are what makes every town unique.
To create jobs
They are also great for jobs.
According to the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses employ over 50 percent of the workforce in America. That’s a big number.
That same report also found that small businesses have generated over 65% of the net new jobs since 1995.
To contribute to the local economy
More than job growth, the money generated by local businesses in also much more likely to go back into the local economy.
Custom Made, a website specializing in small business, states that $68 of every $100 dollars spent at a local business goes back into the local economy; compare that with only $48 of every $100 for big box stores.
To encourage innovation
Perhaps my favorite reason for supporting local businesses, is you get the most unique products from them. Unlike big box stores, independent stores only need to satisfy those in their community, which gives them a lot more room to be creative.
Whether it’s honeycomb ice cream or jewelry made just down the street, it may be your only chance to experience that product.
Small businesses are great for so many reasons. With the holidays just around the corner, I encourage you to shop around at some of your favorites and to let me know what you find.
Cover photo courtesy of flickr.com