Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was Small Business Saturday, a national celebration encouraging shoppers to spend their money locally as they finish off their Christmas shopping lists.
Sure, many of us will travel to shop for the holidays. Larger communities have much to offer. However, we should not forget our local merchants whose livelihoods depend on our business.
In addition, we may be pleasantly surprised with the treasures we can find without having to leave town.
Here are 10 advantages to shopping local.
1. Protect local character and prosperity
Each community has its own unique character. This is displayed in the local businesses operating there. Look beyond the retail clones and see what there is to offer.
2. Community well-being
Locally owned businesses build strong neighborhoods by sustaining communities, linking neighbors, and by contributing more to local causes.
3. Local decision making
Local ownership means that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
4. Keeping dollars in the local economy
Your dollars spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development.
5. Job and wages
Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.
Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.
7. Public benefits and costs
Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
8. Environmental sustainability
Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.
A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
10. Product diversity
It is nieve to think that folks won’t look outside their city limits for the ideal gifts. It may also be impractical at times to stay home.
But, if one opens their mind, the may find that ideal gift here at home.