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Why Shop Local? Here Are 7 Reasons
Do you have a favorite mom and pop shop you frequent for their soup du jour? Is there a coffee joint in town you always meet friends at for a quick catch up? Maybe you love gifting the soaps and candles from the local apothecary during the holidays.
Whatever the case, by shopping at local places like these, you’re doing more for your community than you may know.
Sure, the evolution of eCommerce has simplified shopping online. But there does come a price for shopping from your couch. Giant digital retail stores are making it harder than ever for local shops to thrive — but the good news is every one of us has the power to help local businesses succeed.
Let’s dive into some benefits of supporting small businesses and shopping local!
7 Benefits of Shopping Local
We’ve broken down shopping locally into seven benefits — though there are many more!
Benefit #1: Supports your local economy
Did you know, according to American Express, that 68 cents out of every dollar spent in local shops stays in your local economy? That means that money will recirculate and remain right in your local community!
Think about this the next time you find yourself deciding if you want to shop at big box store or a small, mom and pop shop that’s locally owned. The positive impact you can have on your community is substantial!
Benefit #2: Better customer service
One of the key advantages that locally owned businesses have over their corporate-owned contemporaries is better overall customer service.
Since locally owned shops don’t rely on a national marketing plan, they can tailor their services to meet their community’s unique needs. The big box shops cast wide nets to appeal to the masses, which means huge profits, but can create a customer service model that feels impersonal.
Small, locally owned businesses focus on what their community needs when it comes to goods and services. This personalized approach helps build rapport with the customers and creates an atmosphere where each client feels their needs are being met.
Benefit #3: Buying local helps more than just one shop
When you decide to shop local, you’re helping not just one business, but many. For example, your local grocery store might stock their provisions from local farmers. Local farmers hire residents in the same city.
Your decision to support your local business has wide-ranging benefits that can positively impact your community.
Benefit #4: Creating a close-knit community
Your community is full of local business owners who depend on the local citizenry to purchase their products. When you decide to shop locally, you’re doing so much more than simply buying groceries or other goods. You’re fueling your neighbor’s dream by making their local shop that much more successful.
Have you ever noticed how at the big box retailers you’re quickly rushed in and ushered out?
When you shop local, you can form a bond with your community. This comes from that personal touch that small businesses are so well known for.
For example, with a big box shop, you’re just one face in the crowd as you are quickly ushered in and out. With local shops, you’re not just a customer, you’re a neighbor.
Benefit #5: Re-discovering your neighborhood
When was the last time you walked around your neighborhood? Shops, parks, and everything else under the sun slip by as you zip through town in your car. Get to know your neighborhood more by picking a day to explore your local shops on foot. You never know what hidden gems you may uncover!
Our tip? Open a search browser and type in your address. Once the map of your neighborhood loads, you can zoom in or out to see what shops are within walking distance of your house!
Benefit #6: Decreased fuel and emissions use
When you shop local, you are not only helping local business owners, but you’re also benefitting the environment.
Shopping local means reducing the carbon footprint. National retailers source goods to sell from all over the world to ensure they secure a low price so they can make as large a profit as possible. The further away a product is sourced, the more transportation is necessary. More shipping and/or freighting means more harmful emissions that are released into our environment.
Local businesses buy their goods locally, so the carbon footprint from source to sales is far smaller than what the large corporations create.
Additionally, a local business is closer to your home so the amount of emissions you use in route to your town’s shop is reduced too. And when you choose to give your business to your local shop, you may not even have to drive to pick up your goods. You can choose to walk, which is a great option because you not only help the environment, but you help yourself to some moderate exercise while adding some steps to your daily routine!
Benefit #7: You’re buying from a person, not an algorithm
When you shop homegrown products, the business isn't the only one that benefits. Many proprietors choose towns they grew up in or nearby. In other words, you’re buying from a neighbor. And when you make your local purchase, you’re not just helping the business’s owner with a sale, you’re helping to support the dream of your neighbor!
How to Support Local Businesses
Need some tips on how to support your local businesses? Here’s a few quick ideas that go a long way to helping your community’s locally owned shops.
- Pick a local eatery the next time you and your family decide to dine out. Bonus: That local eatery you dined at likely sells gift cards — pick one up for a great gift idea!
- During the holidays, make it a new house rule to only buy gifts from locally owned stores this year.
- Forgo the expensive coffee franchise and switch to a local coffee shop! You’ll save money and help your community too — a win-win!
- Pay it forward digitally by leaving a pleasant review of your favorite local shop on Google Reviews or Yelp.
- Keep that credit card in your purse or pocket. Credit card companies charge significant fees each time a shop uses their POS machines. No big deal for a big box, but the fees can cut into a small business’s bottom line. Use cash when possible.
Now it’s time for the fun part — get out into your community and do some shopping!
This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.