A buyer is offered a very important choice: Choosing where to shop. While making this choice, many buyers first look at the prices of the products, then the location of the store from their home/workplace and finally the name of the store.
In this entire line of thought, very little thought is given to small, local businesses and the importance of supporting them. Many buyers do not realize that such businesses provide a multitude of advantages to the surrounding community that large retailers cannot offer. Understanding those advantages can encourage these buyers to support their local merchants.
1. Local businesses can help in improving your family’s health:
Buying your groceries and other food items locally gives you and your family numerous health benefits. When you buy from your neighbourhood grocer, you have access to fruits and vegetables that you know will be chemical free, as well as fresh meats and eggs. Having fresh food will not only improve your health but will also increase your longevity.
2. Local businesses are the key to improving the local economy:
When a consumer buys from local businesses, a much more significant amount of that money stays in the community as compared to buying from chain retailers. Local business owners often have the incentive to support other local businesses, and do what is possible for the other businesses. Chain retailers, tend to get their supplies in bulk, while also having store managers and employees that aren’t as personally invested in their company as a local business owner
3. Local businesses give you a face behind a product:
When you personally know the people behind the business where you’re buying your products and services, you enjoy a connection you would not otherwise have. This personal investment isn’t as present when a chain business closes because the store represents only a store and not a part of your community. Therefore, a buyer does not find himself attached to any chain business he purchases from.
4. Local businesses keep your community unique:
Local businesses give a community its personality. There are similar chain restaurants and department stores across cities but that local food joint down the street where you have breakfast every Saturday morning is one-of-a-kind. The combined presence of your city’s local businesses makes it different from every other city in the world. By supporting those businesses instead of chain businesses, you ensure that the uniqueness of your community is preserved.
5. Local businesses give you better customer service:
If you’ve ever had any unsatisfying business with a chain retailer, you know getting someone genuine to listen to your complaint and provide a solution can be a nightmare. You’ll call their toll-free number, only to be transferred several times and put on hold even more times. Even when you speak to a customer service representative, that person is far away from the decision-making process and has little or no concern that the company might lose you as a customer. On the other hand, for local businesses the business owner is directly connected to every employee in the store. That leads to a personal approach, meaning any problem you have is taken seriously and solutions are dealt out quickly.
6. Local businesses are also environment-friendly:
Pedestrian-friendly local businesses have their own unique vibe – and potential environmental benefits. For example, small businesses clustered near residential areas may reduce automobile use, resulting in better air quality. Also a trip to a neighbourhood local business is a simple walk away, giving people some exercise during the day.
7. Local businesses provide local jobs:
Small businesses are very good job creators, and most of those jobs are local jobs. Rather than having to commute to another part of the city, employees work closer to their home. Not only does this reduce traffic congestion in the community, but also supporting local businesses means support for the fellow community members who work at them.
These are just a few points describing the importance of small business to our local communities. Supporting small businesses isn’t just about shopping small, small businesses benefit our local economy, personal relationships and help build the community. So next time you’re considering heading to a large chain store, remember local matters.