Sure you can buy inexpensive home furnishings or groceries from discount chain stores but if you want personable and customized shopping, consider local businesses. Local businesses often sell items that appeal specifically to residents in a certain city and that would be hard to find at major stores. Here are other reasons why you should consider local businesses.
You Contribute to Local Economy
One of the best reasons to buy from local businesses is that you support the local economy. Local business owners hire mostly local residents and these employees depend on the money you give the business as a shopper. When local businesses suffer, employees lose jobs and this causes economic problems in the community.
They Add Sustainability to Community
We are moving towards sustainability in many cities, and local businesses are a part of this. For example, local vendors who sell their freshly grown produce at the Farmers Market make it possible for residents and business owners to reduce their carbon footprint by not having to ship these items from out of town. In addition, local businesses are important in areas that are highly walkable and bike-friendly.
The Service is Great
One reason why you often receive friendly service at local businesses is because the owners take pride in their companies and they value their customers. You don’t always get this service at the major retailers.
There is the Cool Vibe of Local Culture
When you walk in a local business, you often get a feel for that city’s culture. In a New Orleans grocery store, you might see advertisements that employ Cajun or Creole slang terms. You might also hear jazz, funk and other styles of music from local artists. It is this vibe that makes local businesses worth visiting.
Depending on where you shop, you can get items at better prices than the major retailers. If you shop at local thrift stores and consignment shops, you could land all kinds of bargains and save a lot of money. Local restaurants also offer weekly or daily specials for patrons.
You Learn More About Your City
Another cool thing about local businesses is that you learn more about your community. If you and the kids visit a local chocolate factory, they learn about the history of the company and what it means to the city overall. Or if you visit the local football team’s hall of fame center, you will get an idea of why the team is so loved by the community.
They Inspire More Entrepreneurship
When some residents see the success of local businesses, they start to think big and brainstorm for business ideas. Residents who can offer innovative products and services will take the initiative and create these products for the benefit of the community.
Catalyst for Participation in Local Politics
The good thing about local businesses is that business owners are up to date on local politics and how this affects them and the community at large. If the city plans to build a new bridge that could threaten access to thriving businesses in the area, local business owners might join forces with residents to voice their disapproval.
Nonprofits Benefit from Local Businesses
Some local businesses are affiliated with local nonprofit organizations, and when you shop at these businesses, you fund worthy causes. But even if the businesses are not connected to a nonprofit, they support in different ways. A local business might donate items to a fundraising event that would help the organization. Or a business might donate part of its profits to an organization
What is the difference between a chain store that sells certain items and the local business who only sells this kind of product? At the chain stores the salesperson might be able to explain what the product is, but the local owner can explain it in detail. This is because local business owners are experts in what they sell, and they are passionate about it..
In conclusion, shopping from local businesses has several benefits. If you are looking for the newest businesses in your area, the city’s chamber of commerce is a great place to start. Local newscasts also sometimes announce new businesses.