Posted on June 10, 2015
Shoppers’ choices have greatly expanded as online shopping has become a regular part of life. In addition to being more convenient for time, online shopping also allows people to purchase goods from across the country and internationally without leaving their homes. So why would you ever shop in your city again? Whether it is a purchase at a local brick-and-mortar store or via its website, shopping local is still valuable to the consumer and the community. Below are the top 5 reasons why shopping local is beneficial.
Shopping at local businesses means that those businesses will have the need and money to hire more people. Since they are in your community, the people that they hire will also be from your community. This means a population with higher employment rates and an increase in tax dollars feeding the success of the city or town. Inversely, this also means less people requiring government assistance to get by so that tax money can be spent differently. All this because you decided to buy a bottle of wine from a Chicago-based company versus Amazon.
Small, independent businesses give a lot more to support their communities than their chain retailer counterparts. Local businesses are known to donate to local charities, schools, and other community events. Does it feel better to support a business that will in turn give back to the community in which you live? That’s not something that is really up Walmart’s alley.
Independent businesses are typically more unique than big companies. Local shops are prone to stock distinct items that may be hard to find at large stores and have a quick turnaround time in ordering specialty items requested by the customer. It is a small wonder that eclectic small cities around the United States, like Austin and Louisville, implore citizens to “Keep _____ Weird.”
It is no secret that local businesses offer better customer service and customers feel much better cared for with small businesses. The anecdotal evidence is enough, but the point is driven home by numerous surveys that support this fact. Local businesses are driven primarily by reputation and positive word-of-mouth, and repeat business, so customers are taken care of very well in this environment.
If you study the development of commercial areas and local communities, it is clear that a variety of businesses cluster around shopping areas. This does not necessarily mean large mega malls, but also includes small businesses. When a local shop opens its doors, you start to see banks, salons, cafes, restaurants, and more spring up, as well. When local shops go out of business, these complementary businesses shutter, too.