The era of Walmart, Macy's and other huge chain stores is over - it's time to start shopping small and supporting the businesses that grow in our own communities.
Many have heard that phrase before, but not everyone truly understands it. Some hear it and ask, "Why? Why should I bother shopping at small/local shops when I could easily just go to a chain like Walmart instead?"
Well, there are LOTS of reasons to shop locally. After all, local businesses are incredibly valuable - they contribute to the local economy by bringing employment opportunities, growth and innovation to communities. Plus, let's be honest: ANY reason to not go to Walmart is a good reason...
Read on for the top nine reasons to shop small, for the benefit of both you and your community:
Small businesses give directly back to your community by paying taxes, unlike a multinational chain store.
They provide more local job opportunities.
Meanwhile, the expansion of large chain stores actually takes away millions of jobs across the country each year.
Instead of making you deal with a large company that outsources its customer service, small businesses provide an attentive, one-on-one and less complicated customer service experience.
Small business owners and employees are more likely to be personally invested in and knowledgable about the products in their inventory.
As a result, you know you are getting a sincere, personal touch when it comes to helping you find what you need.
Small businesses are also more likely to hire industry experts or those with specific product expertise.
Thus, you'll most likely always be dealing with someone who actually knows the ins and outs of their industry - unlike with a large company that only educates its staff to a certain level.
Small businesses don't source from the same mass-producers that chain stores do, meaning their products are much more unique and exclusive.
Why blend in when you can stand out, right? In contrast, practically all clothes, appliances and other products from chain stores look the same nowadays because they are ordered from the same suppliers.
Local businesses utilize other local services in your community like banks, farms, designers, contractors, etc.
By supporting one local business, you're actually supporting them all!
Local business owners also provide a lot of support for non-profits in the area.
It's measured that non-profits receive as much as 350% more money from local businesses than from non-local ones.
Shopping small can reduce your carbon footprint!
Because local businesses attract mostly local purchases, there's less transportation required - instead of taking long drives out to a chain store, you can source locally and reduce your contribution to pollution, traffic, and resource and habitat depletion.
To sum up, shopping locally helps foster communities through casual encounters, building relationships between buyers and sellers and promoting cohesiveness among residents. We have the chance to help build our communities up to the best they can be by supporting local shops and businesses - let's take it!