Why should you shop local?
June 4, 2019
It’s easy to think the well-known, corporate-owned stores have anything and everything you could ever want plus coupons and cashback, drive-thru pick up, and free shipping. We get it; buying from them is just so easy. You can pick up your prescription, get your oil changed, and get your nails done, and grab a pack of diapers all under one roof. Online you can look at an item and it will be shipped before you even realized you’d clicked the button to purchase it. Everything is cheaper, faster, and centered around the ever-important convenience. Why, then, is it ever necessary to take the time to seek out and spend your money with locally-owned small businesses?
Will buying from a local retailer cost you more? Yes, probably. Will you have to make a few more stops to finish your shopping? Also, yes. But when you make the decision to support a local business instead of making a choice for the sake of convenience, you’re playing an active role in shaping your community. Local small businesses create a stronger community, and supporting them benefits your town, both socially and economically.
You get to partake in a passion project
When you step into a local shop to make a purchase, you’ll immediately witness the soul that was poured into someone’s entrepreneurial dream. Whether you’re looking for a new pair of shoes, a piece of furniture for your house, or a flower arrangement for your future mother-in-law, you will benefit from the expertise of the local retailer. Oftentimes, these local shop owners and employees have years of experience selling their products, something that allows them to answer any questions you may have, and ensuring that you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for—even when you came in not knowing exactly what you needed. These local small shops are someone’s passion project—something they’ve probably risked a lot to make happen— and helping you find and purchase the perfect item reminds them exactly why they opened the shop in the first place.
You support and strengthen the local economy
It’s no secret that local retailers employ members of their community. Remember that in addition to providing jobs, they are also paying local taxes and working with other businesses in the area, putting much of their own revenue right back into your community. According to a 2016 report published by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, independent retailers create 2x more jobs when compared to corporate retailers. Purchasing with local entrepreneurs helps create opportunity in your community—both for the small businesses and for community members looking for work.
You play a part in fulfilling the American Dream
As one of the most nostalgic phrases in our lexicon, the “American Dream” is often associated with vision, risk, and hard work. Do you automatically think of a “mom and pop shop”? Local small businesses are often opened by hardworking people with years of experience who have decided to branch out on their own. These people are willing to take a risk because they know the community will benefit from what they have to offer. For many, opening a small business is an opportunity—a pathway to the middle class and to fulfill a lifelong dream. When you support these members of your community, you’re investing in their actual future, not just adding a few zeros to a corporation’s already-brimming bank account.
Help your community grow!
Every single time we spend money, we are voting. We are making decisions about the community we live in, the people that work there, and the future of our city.
Please, shop small. Shop local. Shop with a purpose, and understand the power you have as a consumer to shape your own world, for better or worse.
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