Why You Should Shop Locally

Try shopping local this holiday season and in the future instead of relying on chain stores and online shopping.

Whether you’re buying groceries or gifts, heading to a local store benefits everyone, no matter the time of the year because you may be surprised at how big of an impact spending your money locally can have.

The Local Community and Economy Benefit

According to a 2012 study from the American Independent Business Alliance, local business revenue is recirculated at a higher percentage than a chain store’s revenue. Approximately 48 percent of revenue generated by independent establishments is recirculated throughout the economy, whereas the local circulation of a chain store’s revenue is 13.6 percent.

Recirculation is a continuous cycle of money staying within a local economy. Independent shops are more likely to receive supplies from surrounding areas instead of overseas suppliers.

By shopping local, you’re helping every surrounding store. Businesses are able to take higher revenues and invest in their employees, most of whom are from the area.

Tax money is also more likely to stay within your city or town, and this revenue helps fund schools, provide money to police and fire departments, repair roads and more.

Farmers marketShopping locally benefits your community.

You Can Shape Your Community

Chain stores can sometimes have their virtues, but when was the last time you walked into a big-box retailer with a different layout or architecture design? The reality is most chain stores are the same across the nation. You know what to expect when you walk these stores.

By shopping local, you’re helping your town develop and maintain a unique feel not found anywhere else. Communities need their own identities and independent stores help achieve that. That unique identity helps draw in outsiders, who then spend their money at local businesses.

A Better Shopping Experience

When you visit local establishments, you’re likely to encounter the same faces repeatedly. Over time, you may even get to know an owner and form a friendship. This allows you to know the person (or people) behind a store and learn about their passions and why they’re operating their own business. Some small-business owners truly want to help their communities and provide meaningful services.

Independently-owned stores are also more likely to have better customer service. You don’t have to spend hours on the phone with a representative who’s on the other side of the world. Every interaction is with a store employee and you’re more likely to work with managers and owners to sort out serious issues.

When you add better customer service and friendships together, they equal a more personalized shopping experience. Owners may stock up on items they know their customers will buy and can even help you discover new products.

Local stores may not have the flashy advertising campaigns of chain retailers, but they offer more personalized and pleasant shopping experiences. Most importantly, though, is that your money stays within the community and by shopping local, you help support your community.

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