5 Reasons Why We Should All Shop Local
Next time someone asks you why shop local when the big retailers offer more competitive prices, show them this article.
Although Forbes counted up to 43 reasons why support local businesses, which we’ll sum up in 5, there are millions of explanations that can make you feel miserable the next time you enter a large store owned by a multi-millionaire. Statistics explicitly show that small businesses are the lifeblood of the world economy. Only in the US, small businesses account for 99.7% of all businesses.
Why is it important to shop local?
1. Boosting the local economy
UK statistics show that for every £1 spent in a small or medium-sized business 63p stay in the local economy, compared to 40p in a larger business. Moreover, small businesses are leading employers internationally. They tend to hire people from the close surroundings, which again keeps the money within the community.
At the same time, local companies more often than not collaborate with other local entrepreneurs – more growth for the local tax base! Besides stimulating innovation and competition, they also play a big role in product diversity.
2. Shaping the community’s identity
One thing is for sure, entrepreneurs breathe life into the community. Their welcoming and positive attitude towards strangers, as well as returning customers, sets an example for everyone. In addition to that, local businesses create a culture that easily becomes a trademark for the place and attracts visitors i.e. influencing tourism.
Did you know that small businesses are bigger sponsors to sport than the big sharks? Yes, they are. Equally important, they are big supporters of charities and are keen on donations that directly deal with problems within the community.
And last but not least, through providing apprenticeships and internships small business owners pass on their skills to the youth which is crucial for future growth and development of the town.
3. Preserving the environment
As we mentioned before, local shops tend to employ locals. Since they live closeby, they don’t need a car or public transport to get to work, thus decreasing carbon emission. Also, since they are usually located inside the town, that makes them more accessible and at a walking distance to everyone.
Speaking of that, more often than not they choose to settle in already existing buildings, adding bonus points for low infrastructure impact. More importantly, because of their tendency to use local suppliers and collaborate with other town businesses, the bad impacts transportation and distribution have on the environment are close to a minimum, which is not the case with big chains.
4. Better shopping experience
As opposed to the copy-paste products sold at large companies, local shops are a source of creativity and originality. They offer one-of-kind products or services that they’ll be more than happy to customise and personalise according to your wishes.
Furthermore, staff at local shops are ready to go the extra mile and make your shopping experience as smooth as possible. They certainly know how to connect with customers on a personal level. Unlike big chains where Kelly the cashier would rather work three shifts in a row than say a polite hello.
In small stores there are no crowds and your presence there is as glorified as a religious miracle.
5. Making dreams come true
Another reason why you should support local businesses is because they are built by ordinary people, often our friends or family. Not a board or stockholders that have long lost touch with reality and have no idea what your needs are.
Small business owners put everything they have in life on stake to make their dreams come true. And if we take a deeper look, they often have a couple of mouths to feed at home, mortgage to pay, old shoes to replace, a roof to fix…
By helping them keep their dream alive you’re directly bringing happiness into their lives. And what’s more rewarding than making someone happy?
“When you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance.” .
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