In 2018, there were 30.2 million small businesses in operation in the United States, accounting for 99.9% of all businesses in the country. Small businesses have a huge impact on our society, yet so many Americans choose to shop at multi-chain stores and online retailers instead. About 1 in 12 businesses close every year, with low sales being the top cause.
While shopping online may be more convenient, local neighborhood stores create the backbone of the community we live in. They help strengthen the local economy, create close-knit communities, provide better customer care, and so much more.
Why you should support small businesses and #ShopLocal today, and every other day:
1. Small Businesses Strengthen the Local Economy
As of 2015, 58.9 million people have been employed by small businesses in the United States. Small business owners are more likely to hire locals, so shopping at these businesses frequently creates more job opportunities. Small businesses also tend to source products locally, thus supporting fellow local businesses.
2. Small Business Owners are More Likely to Give Back to the Community
In a study by Civic Economics, “48% of each purchase at local independent businesses was recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores.”
3. You Benefit from a Close-Knit Community
Whether it’s at your local coffeehouse or the hardware store around the block, shopping at neighborhood businesses gives you the opportunity to better connect with other members of your community. Cities and towns with a higher number of local businesses are proven to have stronger social ties and more participation in civic affairs.
4. You Get Personalized Customer Care
Anyone who’s shopped at multi-chain retail stores has had the experience of walking into a gigantic store, being overwhelmed, and walking out without purchasing anything because no one was around to help. On the other hand, small business owners will go the extra mile to ensure you benefit from personalized support and local expertise.
5. You Enjoy Product Diversity
Would you prefer to purchase a unique, one-of-a-kind product or one that’s owned by thousands of other people? Shopping at a local business gives you the benefit of not only getting unique products, but also access to an inventory that’s almost as exhaustive as that of a big box store.
This #NationalSmallBusinessWeek, here’s how you can support your local businesses:
- Introduce your friends and family members to your favorite local business by giving them a gift card. This way, you’re encouraging more people around you to #ShopLocal as well.
- Take a few pictures at your local businesses and promote them on social media. Make sure to tag their social handles and mention what you love so much about them.
- Leave your favorite local business a positive review on Yelp/Google/Facebook. People tend to leave reviews only when they have a negative experience with a business, so do the opposite and show some love for your favorite local store and let people know why they should visit.