Supporting local business benefits not only the proprietors, but also the communities they belong to. Successful, independent locally owned businesses enrich the communities they are based in, in many ways.
Small businesses generate the following:
1.) Community Character
• Diverse small businesses establish a community’s unique character and contributes to its identity.
• As small businesses become recognized for their distinct regional products, product value increases.
2.) Community Involvement
• Independent, locally-owned businesses involve themselves in the community by supporting and contributing to community groups, teams, and local charity organizations.
• Small business owners play important roles in the community and are aware of the impact their decisions will have on the area.
3.) Community Social and Economic Well-Being
• Small businesses contribute to building a sense of community and developing social and economic relationships.
• As local businesses are supported they, in turn, are able to support local amateur sports teams.
• Partnerships are developed and strengthened between schools, other business owners, community leaders, neighbours and residents.
• Social networks and community connections are built as local businesses come together.
• Connection to the people behind the product is developed. Locals want small businesses to do well – they celebrate small business’ successes and share disappointments.
• Decision-making is kept locally by members of community who will be impacted by the decisions.
• As local businesses support each other, a reduction in costs can be realized as fees to transport products and services can be lowered.
• Small business owners recirculate larger portions of their revenue back into the local economy creating thriving town centres and improving local services. They often reinvest in the community by patronizing local businesses themselves for both personal and business reasons.
• When residents shop locally, tax dollars remain in the local economy, which boosts the community economically.
4.) Innovation and Competition
• Entrepreneurs starting out in a community become cognizant of their community’s legitimate needs and strive to keep their products unique to those needs.
• When there are multiple small businesses it forces shops to stay relevant, competitive and innovative so they can stand out from the crowd.
5.) Locally Made, Diverse Products and Services
• Successful businesses recognize gaps in the market, and provide products and services to meet those needs.
• More often than not, consumers desire one-of-a-kind products rather than mass-produced merchandise offered at chain stores.
6.) Quality, Personalized Service
• Typically small business owners take time to get to know their customers, develop connections, and tailor their service to meet individual needs. Most are eager to go above and beyond for the consumer.
• When significant personal financial investment has been made by an entrepreneur, it’s in their best interest to provide the best service.
7.) Local Job Creation
• As businesses grow and support each other, they re-invest in their community, create jobs, and offer increased wages and benefits; often poverty can be reduced.
• Local jobs attract people to live and work in the area, which can lead to less need for commuting.
• Locally owned businesses can create more jobs and can often provide better benefits and higher wages than chain stores.
• Proprietors of small businesses are generally committed to the area and are more likely to stay put, thus are more reliable generators of income for the community (wealth, income and jobs).
• They also are more likely to conduct themselves in an upright manner, as they live in the area that they service.
9.) Environmental Benefits/Sustainability
• Compact, walk-able town centre, rather than sprawling chain stores spread throughout town, less driving, less habitat loss.
Don’t forget: Supporting local business means shopping from your local farmers:
When making the switch to shop locally, don’t forget about your local farmers!
• Supporting local farmers and buying locally grown food, invests our food dollars closer to home and strengthens the community.
• Local food creates jobs and supports economic growth in the community.
• Locally grown produce is often fresher, tastier and more nutritional – often being picked only 24 hours before you buy it. Most local food has been minimally processed.
• Food at farmers markets is generally transported shorter distances, rather than thousands of miles. This means less amounts of natural resources are spent (fossil fuels), less pollution, less extra packaging and trash.
• Local, sustainable agriculture generally uses less toxic agricultural by-products and uses methods that minimize the impact on the environment. Means less pollutants in the water, land and air.
• Buying directly from local farmers gives them a better return for their produce and a chance to compete in food marketplace, in today’s globalized economy.
• A visit to the farmer’s market provides opportunity to learn where your food comes from and how it is produced.
Supporting local business, makes a positive impact every time. Make shopping locally part of your routine.