Ever since 2010, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has officially been named Small Business Saturday. Why is it so important to shop small instead of solely shopping at large chain retailers? Here are six main reasons to buy locally and how they all play a major role in boosting your local economy.
1. Investing in the Community
Shopping at local merchants and retailers keeps money in the community. How is that done you ask? Each dollar spent at local businesses returns three times more money to your local economy than one dollar spent at a retail chain. This larger share of revenue that is recycled back into the local economy enriches the community as a whole.
Buying locally also helps to support schools, police, and fire departments. Since taxes stay local, schools receive more funding, city streets can receive maintenance dollars for necessities such as paving, and local police and fire departments can operate efficiently to keep neighborhoods safe.
2. Creating Local Jobs
Small businesses are the largest employer nationally, and in their community, provide the most jobs to residents. Since 1990, large businesses and corporations have eliminated 4 million jobs, while small businesses added 8 million new jobs. Small businesses provide 55 percent of all jobs and have been responsible for 66 percent of all new jobs since the ‘70s.
When small businesses open, they inevitably need employees to help run their operations. As multiple small businesses pop up throughout the city, the number of jobs available will steadily increase. Depending on the type of business, it might even provide better wages and benefits than some chains may offer.
3. Supporting Non-Profit Organizations
As if the first two reasons haven’t been convincing enough, small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events, and teams, when compared to large businesses. On average, 45% of each purchase at local, independent businesses is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14% of purchases at chain stores.
4. Reducing the Environmental Impact
In general, locally-owned businesses contribute less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution. Due to the fact that small businesses are generally set up in city centers, as opposed to the outskirts of town, patrons don’t need to travel as far, reducing the amount of traffic on highways and other major thoroughfares. Likewise, when clusters of small businesses are grouped together in a city center, patrons can walk from one storefront to another without needing to drive from store to store.
5. Local Decision-Making
Local ownership ensures that important decisions are being made locally by people who actually live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions. Oftentimes, the city alliance will work with local small businesses by including them in monthly meetings so business owners’ voices can be heard on hot-button issues.
6. Encouraging Entrepreneurship
Shopping small fuels America’s economic growth, innovation, and prosperity year-round. Small businesses tend to be in full support of other small businesses and will buy from them to keep up the “buy local” cause. The encouragement and support that small businesses have for each other is admirable to entrepreneurs who are thinking about opening up their own small businesses.
Do you know a local small- or medium-sized business that could benefit from financial information and accounts focused directly on them? Diamond Business Services Division does just that. Share this article, request more information, call our offices at 610-326-5490, or stop by any branch for more information.