In recent years there has been a huge social push for everyone to start supporting local and small businesses. A question you might ask is, “why would I go to several different stores to buy my groceries, clothes, and hygienic products when I can buy it all in one place when I go to Target, Walmart, or from Amazon?” The immediate thought is usually that it is easier to save time and go to a one-stop-shop. However, there is more to the situation than that. Here are some reasons why shopping small and supporting local businesses might be more beneficial than you think.
Just because their size is small does not mean that small businesses are not a mighty force in our economy. Since they do not bring in the same revenue as a large retailer, small businesses can easily be underestimated. Finding out that 54% of all U.S. sales are from small businesses might be surprising to you. This creates a significant impact on our stock market and GDP altogether. For every $100 spent by shopping at small and local businesses, an average of $68 stays within the community. Only about $43 out of every $100 spent at larger retailers and national chains stays in the community. Remember that community events, local sports teams for kids, recreational facilities, and so much more are funded by this money. Also, local non-profit organizations receive an average of 250% more support from small businesses.
Believe it or not, small businesses are the source for the majority of jobs in the United States. Furthermore, as more people shop at small and local businesses, they will grow. If small businesses need help to keep up with all of the growth they experience, they will hire more employees. So, when businesses grow, they create more job opportunities within the community and decrease unemployment. When you shop locally, your neighbor is able to put dinner on the table for their family, or that man or woman down the road that could hardly pay their rent before because they could not find a job might now be able to do so without worrying.
A lot of small businesses purchase locally as well. This helps the environment because, unlike large chain stores, big transport trucks are not bringing in as much air pollution and congestion when they drop off their shipments. A more localized example also might be that when a store purchases produce from the local farmer, they can afford to keep their farm because it is profitable, which means they might not have to sell the land to a large company that might bulldoze it over, add a large building, and cause habitat loss. Additionally, when employees have less of a distance to drive to work, they are reducing carbon emissions that go into the atmosphere. In the grand scheme of things, shopping locally from businesses that also shop locally helps keep your community clean, more natural, and nicer for you to enjoy.
Increased Product Diversity
Every community is different and has different needs. Small businesses must stand out from larger chains since they can’t order bulk shipments of products as cheaply and easily. In effect, small businesses have the motivation and the drive to find the most innovative products so that they can grab your attention, bring you into the business, and have you willing to buy from them instead of their larger chain competition. Larger businesses can survive if their shoes aren’t bought since everyone buys groceries there as well. However, a small business that is far more specialized might not be able to.
Community Strength & Relationships
I want to paint a scenario for you. Imagine that slept poorly or have something personal going on, and you are just having one of those days. You know, where you feel like you are out of touch with reality. We all have them and know how overwhelming or lonely they can be. You might feel the world is moving so fast around you, and you’re just one person and nobody cares. Think about going into a local coffee shop or produce store and having the employee call you out by name. Maybe they asking you about your day and offer to help you in any way that they can. When you shop locally, you become a presence in your community, and your community becomes an extension of your family. Stronger communities lead to intentional and lasting relationships, they can make you feel seen, help you thrive, and offer support. A strong community can lead to lower depression rates, higher enjoyment levels, and a happier you.
In conclusion, the purpose here is not to encourage you to quit shopping at national chain grocery stores completely or that you are the community’s traitor for buying name-brand clothing from a large retailer. In fact, much like a healthy diet, there is a right balance of shopping locally while still shopping at large chain stores. Deciding to shop locally might just look like you deciding to get your hair done at the barber shop down the street for a dollar or two more than at the quick haircut chain location down the road, or attempting to plan your weekly meals ahead and check out the farmer’s market instead of running to the supermarket for a last-minute ingredient. The aim is to bring awareness to the movement, and let you know that you are doing your community, neighbor, and yourself a favor when by shopping small and local.
Check out our other blog to find more specific ways that you can help support the small and local businesses in your community at https://www.sophisticatedprofessional.com/uncategorized/how-to-support-small-local-businesses/?preview_id=8831&preview_nonce=38622427e8&preview=true.