The Benefits of buying from Local Small Business in your Local communities
Independent local small businesses employ an array of supporting services. They hire architects, designers, cabinet shops, sign makers and contractors for construction. Local accountants, insurance brokers, computer consultants, attorneys, advertising agencies help run it. Local retailers and distributors also carry a higher percentage of locally-produced goods than chains, meaning more jobs for local producers.
In contrast, a new chain store typically is a clone of other units, eliminates the need for local planning, and uses a minimum of local goods and services. A company- owned store’s profits promptly are exported to corporate headquarters. That’s simply good, efficient business for them, but not so good for our communities.
Money spent at community-based merchants creates a multiplier in the local economy, meaning that from each dollar spent at a local independent merchant, up to 3.5 times as much wealth is generated in the local economy compared to a dollar spent at chain-owned businesses. This “local multiplier effect” means shifting more local purchasing to independent small businesses is a key tool for creating more local jobs.
Ensuring Choice and Diversity
Retailers sift through competing goods and services to find those appealing to their customers. Though a single local shop may carry a smaller selection than can be found online or at large chains, a multiplicity of independent retailers creates great diversity. When thousands of shops serve the preferences of their customers’ tastes (and reflect different owner’s interests), market opportunities are created for a wide variety of goods and services. As fewer giant corporations dominate production, distribution, and sales, a few executives and buyers choose what reaches customers.
Maintaining Community Character
When asked to name our favorite restaurant, cafe, or shop, it’s typically a unique local small business. Your local paper’s “Best of” poll is proof. Those businesses define our sense of place, but we often forget their survival depends on our patronage.
Local owners, typically having invested much of their life savings in their businesses, have a natural interest in the community’s long-term health. Community-based small businesses are essential to charitable endeavors; their owners frequently serve on local boards and support numerous causes.
Yes, some chains give back to towns in which they locate, and not all local businesses are exemplary models. However, the overall impacts are clear: locally-owned businesses play a key role in our community that chains rarely do.
Support your local entrepreneurs and prevent the loss of community-rooted businesses. Working in multiple realms, including group purchasing, joint marketing, public education, and political advocacy, this initiative is succeeding in a wide range of communities nationwide and are driving major shifts in local culture and spending.
We are reawakening in people the value of local self-reliance and cohesive communities. But for long-term progress, a conceptual change also is necessary. We must consciously plan that future with rules encouraging the values we want to be reflected in our communities. And each time we spend a dollar, we would do well to weigh the full value of our choices, not solely to ourselves immediately, but for the future, we want for our home towns.
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Buy Local-Grow Local Campaign Team