Tuesday, November 22, 2016

5 Reasons You Should Support Local Small Business

Tucked between the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday. American Express started it back in 2010 as an initiative to support small, local businesses. I think it can sometimes get lost by its bigger cousins to the right and left. Not all small businesses can support the deep discounts that large box stores can offer nor might they have the extensive selection but what they lack, they make up for in customer service, a personal shopping experience and supporting the community you live. Last year 95 million people supported small businesses as part of Small Business Saturday and there is estimated to be a 10% increase this year.

I know many support small businesses either through their local community or online communities such as Etsy. Right now is a really great time to have a small business. More emphasis is being put on shopping local and supporting "real" people than ever before.  Here's five reasons you should be supporting local, small businesses.

Product Diversity

While box stores have their place, small businesses have the flexibility to offer a wider range of unique offerings. I especially like to shop local for gifts. Often times, these items could be local sourced or crafted. You might find a new company you've never heard of or find up and coming trends before they hit the big chains. Products will often be of a better quality than what you would find in box stores.

Small Businesses Give Back

More money stays within the community when you buy local vs large corporations. Small businesses are also more willing to give money to the community to support local causes.

"Small businesses deliver community character and economic advantages to the town they are positioned in, but also strengthen partnerships among neighbors, residents, other small business owners, community leaders and even schools by offering social and economic relationships. Many also support local causes, creating even more good within a community." (source)

Personalized Shopping Experience

Chain stores are great for when you want to pop in a get that one item that you need but if you're looking for something special or maybe you want some advice on something, small businesses offer personalized service that you just won't find at a big box store. Also, if you do happen to have a problem with a product, you're more likely to get a more personal response. Small business employees tend to be more knowledgeable about their product offerings. If you wanted to know advice on gardening, would you head to Home Depot or your local gardening shop? Your business matters to small businesses.

Environmental Impacts

"Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution." (source) Small businesses help keep communities unique and one of a kind. Small businesses can also improve your health when you buy foods from local farmers and co-ops. The produce has traveled less distance and is usually farmed without pesticides.

Create Jobs

Small businesses are the largest employer nationally.
  • Make up more than 99.7% of all employers.
  • Create more than 50% of the non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Make up 97% of exporters and produce 29 percent of all export value. (source)
"Fundera is helping to support the growth of small businesses by providing capitol. Visit their post about supporting Small Business Saturday to learn more. If you own a small business or are thinking of starting one, check out Fundera for their small business loans.

Some of my favorite local small businesses:

-Bella Funk, a small boutique owned by two sisters with a great mix of national brands and local artisans.
-Just L, the cutest store with a focus on mid-century modern furniture and goods.
-Baliwicks, for a good drink and great dining atmosphere.
-Littleton Food Coop has a great mix of grocery store items and speciality foods. All produce and many other items are locally sourced. They are in the process of expanding too!
-Pentimento is the place to go for that special gift. They have a great selection of jewelry and cards.

How do you support small businesses?

1 comment:

  1. As an owner of a small business, I appreciate this post more than you know. Customers like you will make those small business owners that you highlight appreciative of your support.