What everyone should know about shopping local
With the holidays coming up it's more important than any other time of the year for shoppers to understand why it's important that they shop local.
It's not just so businesses can make money. It's also good for the shopper! Here's 10 reasons why, plus an infographic you can share.
- Small, locally owned businesses are the backbone of America. Yeah, I know – you've heard it a thousand times – but it's true. They're the businesses that stick around your town for decades and generations. They're an integral part of the community.
- Stable small businesses help increase property values and quality of life. A vibrant business community makes your town a more desirable place to live in, which helps attract new residents. End result? More local residents with more money to spend.
- Local businesses support local causes and community non-profits. Bet you don't know that local businesses give about 250% more to local non-profits than chain stores give. That shouldn't be surprising, though, since these businesses are vested in helping their communities be the best that they can be. They can't just close up shop and leave when times are hard. Have you ever been to a youth sports event and seen the names of the sponsors on the back of the shirts? They'll almost always be local businesses.
- For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 goes back into the local economy. In comparison, statistics show that only $48 goes back into the local economy for every $100 spent at a chain store. National chain stores don’t typically buy local services or goods but local businesses do so extensively. Local businesses support other local businesses, and the beat goes on.
- Small businesses create jobs. They provide the most jobs to local residents and as a group are the largest employer nationally. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 49.2% of private-sector jobs and create 64% of net new private-sector jobs.
- Local businesses tend to be rated higher in customer satisfation. These are neighbors serving neighbors. Not only do they hire people who understand you better, they also care what you think and take more time to get to know you.
- Vibrant local businesses help keep your community unique. Unlike the vanilla suburbs of larger cities, where chains abound, local business provide local flavor. These one-of-a-kind businesses help to create a distinctive community, which makes your town a great place to live and also attracts more tourism dollars. In the words of Richard Moe, the President of the National Historic Preservation Trust, “when people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.”
- Local businesses generate tax dollars. Many people forget about the property taxes that local businesses pay every year, and that those dollars go into local schools, government, and infrastructure. When you buy online, you may save money but the loss in sales tax revenue to the state and local community has to be made up somewhere and can likely result in you being assessed higher tax rates to compensate. End result? You, the community, and the business lose.
- Local businesses use less tax dollars. They require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned businesses entering the community.
- Buying local helps the environment. Local businesses are typically located on less land, carry more locally-made products, locate closer to residents, and help to reduce traffic and air pollution. Since you're not driving out of town to shop or having goods delivered from across the country, you're saving transportation money for yourself and reducing the consumption of fossil fuels overall.
Want to share our Shop Local infographic with your community? Download it here.