7 Brilliant Reasons to Shop Local and Show Your Support for Small Businesses
Not surprisingly, shopping locally brings plenty of benefits to local businesses. However, there is a larger significance.
While the benefits to shoppers are clear, a thriving downtown means a better place to live and work for the community. It creates a beautiful self-sustaining circle that constitutes tremendous small business promotion and builds safer communities and stronger economies. The added convenience and pleasure of shopping in a vibrant downtown attracts more visitors and residents, who bring more money to the local businesses.
When people shop locally, stores can hire additional employees. Your staff then shops locally, buys homes, pays for services and groceries, goes out to eat at local restaurants - all of which adds money to the local economy. Your business can now buy more goods from local farms, artists, and other suppliers who, in turn, spend more money and boost the local economy.
This past year, small businesses - dealing with social distancing mandates - have adopted new ways to do business, including establishing an online presence, curbside pickup, and delivery services, allowing little to stop this growing movement.
Here are seven rewarding benefits local buying brings to shoppers.
Shopping Locally Boosts the Economy
A local small business needs to be profitable to survive, which means customers are the main component. Buying from local businesses puts money back into the local economy, which benefits both the business and the tax base. For every dollar spent at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community. That money creates jobs and opens additional opportunities for downstream vendors and suppliers. As the community grows, a competitor may be opening a store, providing healthy competition that leads to better products, service, prices, and more shoppers.
Protect the Environment by Buying Local
Residents of neighborhoods with more local businesses log 26% fewer automobile miles. Produce and products originate close to the store, and shoppers and employees live nearby. Having fewer big box stores lowers the need for clearing lots and widening roads, which translates into reduced habitat loss.
When people shop at local stores, the owners and employees get to know them. They know their name and learn about their particular needs and challenges, which allows them to provide better advice and customized solutions. Impersonal reps at a corporation’s 800 number can’t compete with that.
It happens all the time. You're in the middle of making dinner, and you need that one ingredient or a unique part for the repair you have to get done today. Waiting for even a next-day delivery won't cut it as you need it right now. Nothing beats the convenience of having a local store close to your home that you can quickly drive to, maybe even walk to, or that delivers to solve the problem instantly.
The appealing character and atmosphere of a vibrant downtown shopping area, with its unique shops offering one-of-a-kind local products, quaint local coffee shops, and gourmet restaurants, attract not just locals but tourists too. Residents from neighboring communities that don't have revitalized town centers will visit for a weekend, or enjoy a warm summer evening, sampling the local cuisine, enjoying the local atmosphere.
Local Shops Add Character and Atmosphere
Imagine strolling down a traffic-free pedestrian main street after having a delicious meal at a local restaurant. You marvel at the beautiful historic buildings and breathtaking architecture, then pick up a treat at a local ice cream shop and end this perfect summer evening sitting on a bench in a picturesque park. Who wouldn’t want to live in a town that boasts such an enjoyable quality of life?
Spread the Word
Many shoppers already know how shopping locally improves their lives, but to increase its positive impact on your business, you can educate those who don’t know yet. To help spread the word, write a blog article and email a link to your existing customers. Ask them to share the information with friends and family, and offer a small reward for any referrals who turn into customers. You may include this message in promotions you are already doing. Remember to include this tactic in your social media campaigns as well.