Nearly 14% of Americans are starting or running their own business, according to Inc.com. Even if you aren’t a business owner yourself, you likely know several business owners in your community; they are likely your neighbors, family and friends. Local business owners fight year after year to maintain profitability and keep their doors open as big-box stores threaten their success with sometimes lower prices and greater economies of scale.
Locally-owned businesses play a significant role in keeping our communities thriving and successful. As you make your holiday shopping list, consider these 5 reasons to shop local this season and all year-round.
- Create jobs
Local businesses hire local talent. These jobs often range from entry-level to top leadership positions, while chain store giants typically create entry-level positions only. What’s more, leaders of local businesses often take better care of their employees, providing more flexibility, better benefits and, in some sectors, better wages.
- Help the local economy
According to studies, nearly 70% of the dollars spent at local businesses remain in the community. That’s about 30% higher than chain store revenue. These dollars are reinvested by local business owners into our schools, churches, non-profits and fellow businesses.
- Support community
Did you know that locally owned businesses contribute to the community at nearly twice the rate of big box retailers and chain stores? It’s because small business owners send their kids to the same schools as you, they attend the same churches as you, they are at the same Friday night football games as you. They support the community because they feel ownership and pride in the same community that you do.
- Maintain uniqueness
Who wants a cookie-cutter community that is just like all the other towns with only big box stores and retail giants? By supporting local businesses that are unique to our community, you’re helping our community maintain its uniqueness, which is part of our competitive edge.
- Get better service
Working with small businesses typically means the owner is available and ready to help. You’ll receive a more personalized shopping experience and often have direct access to the person who knows the products and services best. Your questions will be answered by an expert who has personal stake in your satisfaction, rather than someone who is just filling a shift.
- Reduce environmental impact
Local businesses tend to produce less waste, consume less land and import less goods from other areas. This helps maintain resources like land, roadways and air-quality. Also, because the business owner typically lives in the community, they’re better stewards of the resources.
- Enjoy health benefits
In addition to tasting better, locally grown foods offer their own array of benefits. Studies show that locally grown food that is purchased and eaten soon after harvest maintains more nutrients than food that is frozen or sits on the grocery store shelf for weeks at a time.
These are just some of the reasons why to shop local.
As a locally-owned bank, we pride ourselves on helping dozens of other locally owned businesses that serve, support and encourage our communities.
We urge you to shop local as often as you can to support our people, businesses and communities!