What’s the big deal about supporting local?
You’ve probably seen all sorts of posts and articles floating around encouraging you to support local businesses but have you taken the time to think about what makes it so important?
Supporting local sounds like its a good thing to do but what’s the big deal? Aren’t the big box stores in town “local”? Is that franchise down the street considered “local”? What about the friend from high school that lives in town and wants me to join their direct marketing company as an independent distributor?
Defining local can be really tricky because a lot of different people define and measure local in different ways.
To help make things a little less complicated we’ve made some guidelines to consider as you’re shopping so that you’ll feel confident knowing that you are supporting your community while you support locally owned (and independent) businesses!
How to Shop Like a Local
These guidelines are prioritized in a way to maximize the direct impact on your community. It starts with your own activities and behaviors and grows to that of the community at large.
- Be an active, responsible, caring, and community-minded citizen
- Support your friends and family that are artists, entrepreneurs, and business owners
- Support businesses in your community that are owned by people in your community
- Support online stores that are based in your community
- After considering all of the options above, if you can’t find the product or service you are shopping for within reasonable pricing or quality that is available locally consider shopping from chains, online, or big box stores
So what’s the big deal?
There are two different ways to look at the impact of shopping locally, financially and socially.
When you consider the financial implications of shopping locally you are taking a peek into the assets of a community. A local workforce employed by locally owned and independent organizations that prioritize their spending locally means that a community is building resilience, creating an economic multiplier, and generating more tax dollars. This allows for the maintenance and growth of city and county services. When a dollar circulates within a community more frequently it is actually creating additional value every time a transaction is made. This happens through the value created by the organizations providing goods and services in your community. Imagine your city as a giant piggy bank and every transaction you make a few extra cents go into the piggy bank when you shop with a local and independent business. Compare that to when you don’t shop locally, not only are you out the money you spent but the city piggy bank no longer grows to better care for your city’s current and future community needs.
Think about your city as a neighborhood. On your block, you see families, students, professionals, and retirees. When you’re spending your money “in your neighborhood” that money is staying with people on your block. The people on your block are all trying their best to enjoy life and take care of their families while maintaining and improving their property. Not only that but imagine the opportunity to help your neighbor make their dreams come true. Imagine the benefit that would have for your block if you could help all of your neighbors become successful by shopping with them first for your daily wants and needs. Not only will the whole neighborhood begin to grow but each family on the block now has reached a higher level of quality of life that they can share with others!
While there are real people behind every business the reason that supporting local is important is that a real person lives in your community and wants to make your community a better place. A whole city of people shopping locally is now a city working together to make their community a better place with their everyday actions and decisions.