It is funny to me when I have friends, family and clients that own small businesses, but then choose to spend their money at non local shops. I have a friend that runs a small local business, but drinks Starbucks on a daily basis; this dichotomy is truly interesting, expect people to choose your store over a big box, then skip the local coffee house in favor of the mammoth coffee shop.
Because someone has already said it better I will borrow (from the Mile High Business Alliance http://www.milehighbusinessalliance.org) the following 5 points on how shopping local helps your community.
1. Environment By buying things made closer to home, you’re cutting down on fossil fuel use, reducing your carbon impact and saving money.
2. Local Economy Local businesses buy more often from other local businesses, so the money you spend is retained in the community in a more concentrated fashion.
3. Local Flavor The experience at a local establishment is completely unique – providing the local flavor of the area
4. Community Care Local entrepreneurs are more connected to our community, because they live here, too. They are more likely than their competitors to get involved in community e‑fforts.
5. Voicing Your Opinion You are voting with your dollar to say, “Hey, I like this place and the neighborhood wouldn’t be the same without it.”
In addition to these 5 points is the (fuzzy) fact that roughly 66% of the money spent at local businesses stays within the community. That money goes to pay employees, purchase goods, fund local nonprofits and a variety of other things.
Whereas when you shop at a big box store, the money that does not go to salaries and utilities heads directly to the company’s headquarters…in whatever state that is.
If at the minimum you change one buying decision the benefits will be long lasting. (for more information check outhttp://www.milehighbusinessalliance.org/, they are a great resource and full of innovation and insights).