Thanks to the internet it has become increasingly easy to purchase products from not only across the country, but across the world, as we are no longer bound by geographic borders. Most things are only a click away. Online retailers can offer prices and convenience that a brick-and-mortar store cannot. However, what many people don’t take into consideration is their local economy.
While buying online or from big-box retailers may be easy and convenient, it is not always the best option. All around you are local businesses doing what they do best: putting money back into your economy, donating money to charities, and creating jobs.
So the next time you’re in a toss up between making your purchase online or locally, take these things into consideration:
1. Local businesses keep more money in your community. Every time you make a purchase at a local store, you are supporting your local economy. Local businesses tend to buy from other local businesses, so you’re not only supporting one local business, you are actually supporting multiple businesses at once! A 2004 study by The Andersonville Study of Retail Economics showed that 68% of money spent at local businesses stayed within that community, whereas only 43% of money spent in chain stores remained. What doesn’t rock about that?
2. Local businesses donate more money to charities. Local business owners statistically donate more money to non-profit organizations, but also small businesses are entirely far more generous with local charities and initiatives in their community.
3. Local businesses are more sustainable. Since local businesses tend to source their goods from local suppliers, there is a lot less transportation needed, leading to a lesser impact on the environment. Save the Earth and get your fruits and veggies from farmers markets!
4. Local businesses create more jobs. The truth is that small businesses account for the majority of jobs in the United States. By shopping locally, you are helping other members of your community support themselves and others. These employed workers can now also are able to contribute to the local economy, which in turn allows for more local business who can employ more workers… You can probably see where this is going.
You can only do your best when it comes to shopping locally; there’s not always going to be local options for something you really need. With the largest shopping season of year just getting underway, be mindful of your shopping habits and how much impact you can make on your local economy. Whenever possible, try to buy locally and think about where the dollar might end up, and where it might be put to work. Another way to get involved? Participate in Small Business Saturday on November 26th. Photo credit: Tom Flemming