Small and local businesses are the backbone of the local community. They use almost half of the total American workforce. But, such establishments are badly affected due to the pandemic. As per a report, about forty-three percent of the small businesses have been temporarily closed. This has led to a decline in employment by about forty percent.
Thus, in times of these crises, we must support such businesses more than ever before. Buying local will help these businesses get back on track, provide employment, and even benefit the local community. Let’s understand the role of local businesses in the economy and why you should support them.
Improves the Local Economy
When you buy from a local store, more of the spent money stays in the community. This helps boost the local economy. For instance, a study found out that about sixty-eight dollars remained within the community for every hundred dollars spent. Similarly, only forty-three dollars remained when the same amount was paid at a chain retailer. For example, suppose you purchased a portable wireless heater from a local shop instead of ordering it from Amazon. In that case, more of your money spent will remain with the local shop owner and within your city.
Similarly, local businesses support other local businesses. The growth of one enterprise can help in the development of others. For example, local restaurants buy produce from the local farmers. If the restaurant operations increase in scale, this will increase the need for fruits and vegetables. This will increase the earnings of the farmers.
Preserves the Community Identity
Local businesses give the community a flavor and identity. Shopping local helps preserve the unique community identity. For instance, local restaurants showcase fresh vegetable dishes specific to their community. The cooking style is unusual for these dishes. When you eat at local restaurants, you help preserve the unique local culture, tradition, and identity.
Similarly, every local community has its own unique character and charm. From the local retail stores, medical services, pet grooming services, and more, small businesses have a uniqueness of their own, even though they may be generic. To preserve this uniqueness, you must shop from local businesses.
Improves Community Involvement
Local businesses realize the impact of their decisions on their neighbors and the local community on the whole. They are actively involved in the community. For example, local business owners will sponsor the local soccer team or donate to local charitable organizations. This helps build and grow the community and keeps everyone involved.
Increases Local Employment
Small and local business owners usually hire people from within the community. This helps community members find jobs easily. They don’t have to commute or shift to a different place to seek employment. This has become one of the most important things during the pandemic. Most people have lost their jobs due to businesses being closed down.
Similarly, since people stay within the community, they help support other local businesses and help create new job opportunities for other people in the community. For instance, buying groceries from local shops, eating at local restaurants, and buying drinks from the local bars can create jobs at these places. Other locals can easily find employment at such establishments.
Facilitate Business Growth
Naturally, supporting local businesses leads to the financial and reputational growth of the businesses. This can help businesses scale and expand their operations and attract a diverse, larger customer base. The community can attract tourists and people from other regions of the country or the world, further boosting the local economy.
Similarly, many local businesses can grow their customer base online and sell their products to customers from across the globe. This, in turn, can lead to the development of the business and the development of the local community.
Other individuals might get encouraged to start a business venture of their own, seeing the success of local businesses. This, in turn, will help locals find jobs, increase the community’s economic health, and provide a healthy environment of competition and innovation. Entrepreneurship fuels the country’s economy and serves as a critical means for families to move out of their current economic situation into a better one.
These are just a few benefits of supporting the local and small businesses. These have a much greater impact on the community than one realizes. So, the next time you want to buy groceries or other items, prioritize a local business and see what they have to offer. Try to make your purchases from local stores to drive their growth. That, in turn, leads to the development of the community, including yours.