When you shop local businesses, you invest in your community, in your neighbors, and in yourself. It is estimated that for every dollar you spend, twice as much will be reinvested in the community by a local store than a national store.
Independent business alliances and related “buy local” campaigns help local business prosper even through an economic downturn. Businesses from communities with ongoing campaigns to promote local independents report sales increases seven times greater than businesses from communities lacking such efforts, according to one national survey.
If it costs more to shop at local stores, that little extra money creates a strong local economy. Consider the following reasons to shop locally, and enjoy the stores your neighbors have created:
1. More money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers, and farms.
2. Economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
3. Competition and diversity lead to more choices. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based on the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
4. Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
5. Customer service is better because local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise, and more time is spent with each customer.
6. Our one-of-a-kind local businesses are an integral part of our region’s unique character.
7. Locally owned businesses help reduce environmental impacts by requiring less international freight transportation. They also usually set up shop in town which means less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.
8. Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
9. Most new jobs are provided by local businesses. Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally.
10. Local business owners give back to their communities. Nonprofit organizations receive an average of 350% greater support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.