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The shopping season is upon us and we are being bombarded with ads for big box stores and online retail giants. And while no one can ignore the convenience of shopping online, there are many benefits to spending your money in smaller, local shops.
Support your local economy. When you buy from a local vendor, $.68 of your dollar stays in your local economy. That’s 25% more than if you spend money at a big box store. And local business tend to buy from other local businesses, making your dollar go even further.
Help out local causes. Next time you’re at a public event, like your kid’s soccer game or a town parade, take a closer look at the sponsors of that event. Chances are Home Depot isn’t sponsoring a youth baseball league, the local hardware store is. When folks in town experience a tragedy, it’s local businesses that step up to help them out. Local business owners are responsible for more than just selling goods and services, they’re an important part of the community!
Know who you’re buying from. There’s a lot to be said for knowing where your stuff is coming from and who’s providing it. When I go to a local restaurant, I’m not just the 10 billionth customer. I’m Stacey. And my waitress is Jenna, who’s going to school to be a kindergarten teacher and loves playing with Miss O.
Save the planet. Think about what has to happen in order for you to get that shiny new bobble from an online retailer. First it’s produced… somewhere. Then it’s shipped to a fulfillment center wearhouse by land, sea, and air. Then you order it and it has to be shipped to you. All of this requires extra transportation time, extra packaging, and lots of waste.
Quirky characters. There’s a local deli owner who likes to sing to his customers. There’s a local seamstress who will turn an off-the-rack dress into a work of art. There’s a local hardware store with a resident dog, Tucker, who is literally one the most chill, awesome dogs I’ve ever met. You don’t get those things at a big national conglomerate with a board of whatever.
Small business Saturday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. But local business owners need your support year round. The next time you head out to buy something, stop off a local small business. You’ll always get more than you pay for!