How important is it to shop locally? Does it really make a difference if you support the small business down the road?
Living in a small town most of my life, I grew up nerding out on Apple computers, listening to Madonna, and frequenting the little mom-and-pop businesses that were just down the block from my home. As a kid, this is where I would buy my Christmas presents and learn about money and spending. It was perfect because the stores were in walking distance from my house, I knew the people that worked there, and sometimes I would even see my friends at the store. I loved this shopping experience, and have very fond memories of finding treasures to give my family over the holiday season.
Today is not much different. Although some of the shops that were there then are gone, thankfully, they have been replaced with other small businesses. I still enjoy the local shopping tradition at small businesses for the same reasons. In fact, last weekend, I stepped into some new local shops and was excited to see both unique products and familiar faces. I took my time browsing these stores with my daughter, and found some gifts and items for us that I would not find at any “Super Store”, nor have had the fun of shopping in such a one-of-a-kind businesses.
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is November 24, 2012 between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses. This holiday shopping season, many shoppers are focusing on supporting their local small businesses, but not just on Small Business Saturday. There are a lot of reasons why.
7 Reasons to Shop Local & Small
1. Embrace Unique – Small businesses often have a lot of character and individuality that sometimes even directly reflects the community. Buying from remarkable businesses honors the character of the community and helps it to maintain it’s uniqueness.
2. Keep Local Leaders – When you support a small business, you are also supporting local business ownership. Local business owners may make influential decisions within the community, and are more likely to stay local and invest in the community’s future.
3. Continue Non-Profit Support – Local business owners donate more to local charities than non-local owners. Did you now that non-profit organizations receive an average of 250% more support from smaller business owners then they do from large businesses?
4. Stimulate Local Economy– More money is left in the community when purchasing from a local business rather than a national chain, since local businesses often support other local businesses and service providers.
5. Support Local Jobs – Small businesses support local jobs so that less people have to commute to work. In fact, small businesses generated 65% of the new jobs in America over the past 17 years, according to the Small Business Administration.
6. Encourage Entrepreneurship – Supporting your local small businesses encourages entrepreneurship and start-up of more small businesses. Small business goes hand-in-hand with innovation and a marketplace of small businesses will keep prices down and provide more product choices.
7. Customer Service – Customer service from a local, small business will probably be better than from a nationwide chain. When you buy locally, there is a good chance you are getting customer service from someone you already know and trust.
Try this: Think locally first. When you can, buy locally. If you loved that experience, recommend the local store to a friend!
Small Business Saturday is just one day of the year that consumers and businesses are promoting all the benefits of shopping small. But you can make it a goal all year long. This year, instead of buying from the super stores or easy-access chain stores, think about how you can get the same thing, or something similar (or better!) from a small business. Remember, there are other great small businesses such as: online stores, home-based businesses, or local service providers that you could also support. Buying from small business infuses the community in so many positive ways. Think of it as an investment in the well-being of your community.
How will you be shopping small or local this holiday season? What are your favorite small businesses?