It’s no surprise that shopping locally has many benefits for the community. However, with the increased ease and efficiency of online shopping, it’s getting harder for many small businesses to compete. Even though your local boutique, butcher, or garden store might not have all the same conveniences as Amazon or big box stores, you may be surprised by what they can do for you that a bigger store may not. Continue reading to see why you should make a new stop the next time you shop.

Reason #1: Saves you money

When you shop locally, you don’t have to drive very far to get the goods you need, saving you gas money. You also will not have to pay (or pay as much) for shipping as you would for certain online purchases. Local retailers are even more likely to offer great sales on their merchandise than bigger box stores with set prices and sale times.

Reason #2: Helps the local economy

Tax revenue through sales taxes from local small businesses goes back to support the local government, which is then reinvested into the community. In 2019, a study from the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy showed that small businesses added 1.8 million new jobs in one year. Those same small businesses end up donating 250% more to local nonprofits and organizations than big businesses every year, which means every time you shop at a local small business, you’re giving back too.

Additionally, an economic impact analysis conducted by the American Independent Business Alliance found that 48% of each purchase at local independent businesses is circulated back into the local economy, in comparison to just 14% of purchases made at big box stores. In fact, the analysis found that shopping online creates almost no local economic benefit, aside from the delivery person. When you shop local, you’re returning more than three times as much money per dollar to your local economy.

Reason #3: Creates a domino effect of support for local small businesses

When you support one small business, you’re often supporting multiple. Small businesses typically get their raw materials from local sources. For example, many local butchers work with area farmers to provide fresh beef and other food products. One small business can unlock a network of stores for you to do all your shopping, and they’re usually happy to guide you to a reputable vendor if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Reason #4: Helps the environment

Because many small businesses source their materials locally, less time, money, and resources are spent when shipping goods to their location. Fewer resources mean less pollution. Small businesses take up less real estate or run their business out of their home, which means less energy is used to run a full storefront. Over half of local independent stores also say that they occasionally or usually use recycled materials, reducing their need for brand-new items every time they create their products. This reduces the number of raw materials and goods that need to be processed each year.

Reason #5: You receive a high-quality, unique item

Lots of local small businesses are artists that want to create truly unique products that you’ll enjoy for years to come. They put all their time and effort into the creation of the product, instead of focusing on mass production. The product you receive is likely is of a higher quality than a big box store because of this dedication. You might have to pay a little extra upfront for your items, but if it lasts for years to come, the item ends up paying for itself.

What if I don’t have extra money to spend locally? 

With today’s inflated prices it can be hard to justify spending more money at a small business. You may not be able to swing it this year, but instead make plans to budget better for next year. Even without a proper budget, there are plenty of other ways you can support small businesses than with just your wallet. Follow your favorite small businesses on social media and share their posts whenever you can. Recommend local small businesses to everyone you know, and make sure to leave positive reviews for the businesses online.

If you’re looking to start your own small business, reach out to our outstanding lending team at Availa Bank today to get started!