Shop Local: Why Does It Matter?
The “shop local” movement receives even more attention during the holiday season. Recent studies show that for every $100 we spend at local businesses, $73 stays in our community’s economy, and $27 leaves our community. Alternatively, for every $100 we spend at large, national businesses, $43 stays in our local economy, and $57 leaves. But how does our local shopping help our community in other ways?
Create More Jobs
When we shop locally, entrepreneurs are able to offer jobs to others by hiring plumbers, electricians, and other service providers from their local communities. Where we spend our money makes a significant difference in whether local businesses flourish or close.
Invest In Your Community
Local businesses are significantly more generous when they contribute to local charities, schools, and community activities. Studies show that non-profit groups receive an average of 250% more contributions from small, local businesses than large, national companies. Our money has three times more impact on local communities than it does at national stores; we sustain city services through sales tax (which is later used for police and fire protection, road work, and trash removal), we improve local living standards, and we support community development.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/columbuscameraop/
Many times we go to national stores because we think they’re the only ones offering the products we want. What we don’t realize is that local stores have a wider selection of products in stock, and they intentionally meet the needs of local customers.
Save Your Money
We are so inundated with advertisements about sales at national stores that we forget our local businesses offer even better prices. After adding our travel time and expenses, the fees national businesses pay to transport items, and the environmental harm from transferring those items, the overall price of products at national stores are more expensive than shopping locally. Also, when we shop at local stores, we are more likely to buy what we need, not just what the advertisements tell us we want, increasing our likelihood of staying within our budgets.
Better Customer Service
Because local businesses rely on good rapports with repeat customers from their communities, they have remarkable service, even providing specialized services. Knowledgeable entrepreneurs know their industries and their products better than national companies.
Build Your Support System
In our transient society, the average American moves more than 11 times throughout their lives. This makes our lives more impersonal and lonely. We don’t realize that the connections we seek are immediately available in our local communities – shopping at local stores introduces you to local people, broadening your experiences and building a network of people you can rely on.
Appalachian Outfitter on Locally.com Photo credit: http://www.appalachianoutfitters.com/locally-com/
At Appalachian Outfitters, we believe in shopping locally. We even feature local businesses in our blogs, including Locally.com, which is a company specifically geared to helping local businesses thrive. To make a positive difference in your community, start shopping local!