During this difficult time of the COVID 19 Pandemic many local companies struggle to keep their doors open. Some businesses have been forced to temporarily close, and many others have had to scale back or change their operations completely. While it’s easy to feel powerless in a time like this, there are still a few things we can do to support our local businesses. So when deciding where to spend your hard-earned euros on tonight’s dinner or a gift for a friend, consider the benefits of turning to local, independently owned businesses within your community.
Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. Online isn’t always best. When you personally know the people behind the business where you’re buying local products and services, you enjoy a connection you would not otherwise have. Along with the rest of the community, you celebrate when a favorite local business succeeds and you mourn when it’s forced to shut its doors.
KEEP YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR HEART LIVES, SUPPORT AN ECONOMY OF FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS, AND BUILD A COMMUNITY THAT THRIVES BY THINKING LOCAL FIRST.
Advantages to shop local
There are far-reaching advantages to deciding to “shop local.” By supporting local businesses, you are in turn supporting your local economy. The fantastic thing about local independent businesses is that they are run by people, not by boards, stockholders or algorithms. As they are run by local people you will usually find that the business/shops building is in keeping with aesthetic of the area, adding character to the community and a touch of warm, welcoming personality. Here are 4 big reasons why it matters to purchase from local small businesses:
#1 It shows you care about your local community
The number one perk to consider, for obvious reasons, is that supporting local means that you care about the community that you live in. Local businesses are owned and operated by your neighbors. They care about and are invested in the well-being of your community and its future. Local businesses are more accountable to their local communities and donate more money to non-profits.
But what you may not know is that shopping at a local business, rather than a large chain, is actually better for the economy of your community. To ensure a strong and sustainable local economy foundation people need to buy locally. Research shows that every 10 Euro spent with a local independent shop means up to an additional 50 Euro goes back into the local economy. This is simply because the nearby shop owners, who you are spending your money with, will then put that money back into your local community by going into local pubs and restaurants etc, thus circulating the money and allowing your community to thrive.
#2 It shows respect to the business owners
Local business owners don’t have the funds to go big or go home, so when you buy local you are going to be respecting that they are getting out there everyday and trying their best to make an honest living even against all of the competition out there. There is a lot to be said for that. Shopping with a local business — regular shopping, that is — shows them the respect that you have for them and their attempts at doing things the right way.
#3 You’ll get unique products
Unlike big corporations, shopping local is going to offer you unique products that will be as incredible as you think they will. You’ll find unique twists on traditional possessions, or entirely unique ideas that create products that you never even knew you needed before you saw them in that shop. There are lots of local makers who bring their personal experiences, skills, and creativity to their products. Take the time to go to a local market event sometime and you’ll find out how these local people bring the soul to their products.
#4 You are giving people jobs
There’s no question that the job market is tight these days, and by shopping local, you are keeping a business open (one that cares about you) and giving people jobs within it so that you can help the local economy in more ways than one. So think about that next time you debate between one option at a local shop versus one that is slightly cheaper at a big box store. Think about the people that you help employ.
Shopping with and investing in local businesses means you can have a very strong and positive effect on the health of the local jobs in your area. Small, local businesses are surprisingly the largest employer of jobs nationally and provide the most local jobs to communities. Not only this, but local employers are more likely to pay a higher average wage than their commercial chain counterparts. Helping to grow the number of jobs in your area makes for a better place to live and work which then creates a healthy economy for the community.
How can you help your local businesses
It isn’t always the easiest or most convenient option to visit a local independent business rather than a large national chain that might be down the street. However, there are plenty of ways you can help support your local economy in your hometown by thinking local first:
Other ways to support local businesses
When it comes to supporting a local business, you can do a lot of good. Follow them on social media and make sure you share their deals or sales or announcements so that you can network and help them get a wider net for people who will be interested in shopping there. There is fun and practical purpose to shopping local. So when you have the chance to choose between the local business and a big superstore, go with local option for the reasons that we’ve talked about and you’ll see soon enough that it is going to be the right choice for you and your community’s future.