The idea of supporting local businesses is getting more popular throughout the country. This trend has many implications to the economy and to your own shopping experiences. Let’s look at some of the reasons why this issue is worth our attention.
Helping the Local Economy
One of the best reasons for shopping locally is to support the economy in your town, city or region. For example, when you shop at retail stores or restaurants you have a choice of choosing local businesses or national chains. When you choose the latter, most of your shopping dollars are going to a large corporation.
When you choose local businesses, more of the money you spend will remain in the local economy. These choices sometimes include not only the business itself but products that the business uses. For example, there’s a locavore movement that supports restaurants that use local ingredients, such as vegetables and animal products. In this case, you’re not only supporting a restaurant that’s situated in your community but one that also gets its ingredients locally.
More Personal Service
Another reason to shop locally is superior service. The internet has made it easy to locate businesses all over the world. For example, if you want to get a website built, you might find someone online. This person could very well be living in a distant part of the world. On freelance sites such as Fiverr, for example, many service providers are in India or the Philippines. If you patronize a local website builder, however, it will be much easier to communicate. With a local business, you can stop in their retail location and talk to the owner face to face.
Services such as accountants, insurance agents and law firms advertise extensively online. With these and other services, you may be tempted by a low price or special deal that’s advertised on a website. When you sign up for such services, however, you’re sacrificing something as well. For example, if you need an attorney, do you really want to have to depend on someone who lives hundreds of miles away? With a local law firm, you have the reassurance that you can stop by their office if you want.
Many people find that shopping locally provides both better service and a more pleasant experience. You have a chance to do business with people you actually see in your community. In some ways, the world is becoming more remote and impersonal. When you patronize local businesses, you can make life a little more personal and friendly.
Supporting Local Businesses: A Personal Choice
For many people, it’s not possible to shop 100 percent locally. Local stores may not carry everything you need. In some cases, you may have to shop at a chain or online because the difference in price is too drastic to overlook. However, you can make the choice to support local businesses whenever you can. You can encourage your family and friends to do the same.
There’s a certain backlash against chain stores and buying everything online. The movement to support local businesses allows you to preserve the tradition of doing business with people you know while making a contribution to the local economy. This is a choice worth contemplating the next time you need any product or service.
Christopher Steven is an avid blogger from Tulsa, Oklahoma who is passionate about encouraging healthy family values for all communities while working with the Gorospe & Smith Tulsa Divorce Law Firm in his own community.