Buy Local? What’s the big deal?
Does it really make a difference where we buy our groceries, gas, household supplies and yes, even our eye examinations, glasses and contacts?
First, It is important to support the small, local businesses in our community. These businesses employ over half the people in the community; according to some reports about 52% of all businesses nationally are categorized as small (100 workers or less). Two out of three people will most likely be employed by a small company. That is A LOT of people! If we support these businesses we keep wealth in our community. If we shop at stores owned by large conglomerates which are national or international in scope, we send much of that wealth out of our community. Why does wealth matter? If individuals make a good living with a small company, they will prosper and make a difference as they shop and invest in our communities. The wealth cycle will multiply as people shop and invest in other small businesses. Shopping local will provide more jobs for many of our friends, family and neighbors!
Infographic from nerdgraph.com http://www.nerdgraph.com/why-buying-local-is-worth-every-cent/
Second, I believe customer service will be much better if we shop locally. If we have a problem and the company is local, our problem will most likely be corrected much more quickly than contacting a customer service department out of state as we will probably deal with a human face-to-face and thus our satisfaction will be much higher. It is ALWAYS better to deal with someone in person when purchasing something or when we have a problem. A local business will usually go out of their way to assist us as they rely on word-of-mouth advertising and referrals for their business to continue and grow. You will not be a number if you contact a local business and make a purchase or need assistance and odds are you will not need to jump through hoops to receive a refund or make an exchange.
Local businesses tend to donate more money to local charities and causes such as schools, sports teams and events that support our community. Most donations come from the Mom and Pop shops as opposed to a large, national chain. If we shop at a local store, some of this money will come back in the form of donations and support from the business such as a school fundraising event for our kid’s school! A local business owner will want to give back to the community which is a win for everyone!
If every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.
As we head out this week to shop and do business, let’s remember our local companies and support them! Not only will it help employ many people in our area, but it also will make us feel good about our ability to contribute! We are part of our community so let’s do all we can to make it great!