There is always a sense of pride for the city and community for which you live. To show your love, you buy local. It seems obvious, but now is a more important time than ever to support your local small businesses. In this post-pandemic world, small businesses are really taking a hit. But there are more reasons to buy local besides supporting your local commerce. When you invest in your community, you are also investing in your own identity.
Imagine that you are driving cross country. Every town you pass through you seem to see the same 5-10 big box businesses and you lose a sense of how long you’ve been driving. Then, you stop at a small local shop and its individuality is a breath of fresh air. That’s the feeling of newness that you get from supporting independent businesses. The products have a sense of quality and uniqueness that a big box chain simply can’t provide, despite their ubiquity and convenience. When products (or services) are mass produced, quality and authenticity suffer. Furthermore, you get a personal touch to your commodities and better service, leading to a greater sense of camaraderie among the staff and the customers.
In fact, relationship building is one of the biggest advantages of local businesses. Companies that stay local retain a loyalty base of returning customers. They also have the advantage of partnering with other local businesses. For example, if a company partners with a local marketing firm, this firm will have a more comprehensive knowledge of trends in local markets. From a customer perspective, supporting local business shows respect for those in your community striving to make an honest living, thus investing in the American dream. These business owners could be friends and neighbors, and supporting their business could be a determining factor to whether they stay in your community or not.
Then there’s the matter of actual investment: buying local services strengthens your local economy. By shopping local, you are keeping local businesses open and investing in the local job market. Improving local employment fuels local commerce, creating an upward economic spiral. Additionally, local businesses mean a stronger local tax base, which means a better use of public services and more prosperous community. According to Justin Sachs, local businesses contribute twice to three times more into the economy than non-local businesses do (via “The Money Trail”).
And we haven’t mentioned the matter of ethics: going local makes a big difference in terms of environmental sustainability. Local businesses also create stable jobs on a larger scale, not outsourcing fabrication jobs to countries with weaker labor laws. Also, local businesses support local community and charity groups. In fact, big box retailers only contribute a fraction of the percentages to charitable causes that local businesses do. So not only is buying local immediately prosperous, it’s the right thing to do.
-Elizabeth Carter, Office Manager at Country Club Janitorial, LLC