Economy Starts at Home – Why You Should Support Local Businesses
People are moving away from chain retailers and buying goods and services from local businesses more. Shoppers who buy from local providers will get benefits they won’t get from national or multi-national retailers, like:
Boosting the local economy
When shoppers spend their money locally, more of it stays within the community. A study performed in Chicago showed that $68 of every $100 spent in local businesses stayed in the city, whereas only $43 out of every $100 spent at a chain store stayed local.
The money stays in the locale because it gets spent on local suppliers for business and in local shops for personal spending. Chain stores get their supplies from corporate suppliers and the staff and managers at these chain retailers often live out of town.
Knowing the producer
Just knowing the shop-owner or the wood-turner means you have a sense of connection and ownership with that business. If a chain store goes out of business or relocates, it doesn’t have the same personal impact.
Maintaining local individuality
Think about the high streets in big towns and cities – they’re often the same, with the same coffee shops, clothes stores, opticians and so on. By supporting local businesses, you’re helping to break up the monotony of the identi-high-street that permeates so many places.
Improved customer service
Large companies can have a tortuous customer service – you end up being transferred and on hold any number of times only to speak to someone too low down in the decision chain to make any difference!
With a local business, the owner usually knows you and the staff know he or she knows you and so everyone’s on their best behaviour and eager to please and to resolve complaints.
A more personal service
Visiting a shop regularly and talking to staff and managers means you foster a relationship with them. The shop is therefore more likely to pre-empt needs you may have, or will be happier to order in a smaller amount of goods than usual for you, because the owner knows you’ll buy it.