Every year, many of us feel the pressures and financial strain of the holiday seasons. Over the last couple of years, this has only increased with the added stress of the pandemic, job insecurity, and other outside factors that have made finances tight and made a lot of us hold onto our loose change. For those that have been keeping both their family and small business running, there’s an added pressure during the holiday season. This year more than ever we’ve wanted to focus on ways to support local businesses, and ways that our communities can pull together to ensure everyone is taken care of. We’ve written many articles from lists where small businesses can post their business, to specific ways we can make a difference in helping locally owned businesses.
With the holiday season here and the spirit of giving upon us, we wanted to offer up a different article and explain the benefits of supporting small businesses. We’ve provided many ways you can do so, and ways that a community can step in and be helpful, however, there are many reasons to support local business and why it’s still important even after the waves of the pandemic and holidays have settled. Below, you’ll read four reasons to support locally owned businesses and the benefits that come with the small actions.
1. Local businesses are more environmentally friendly
Because locally owned businesses tend to source from other locally owned businesses like farms, chains, and other supply stores, they tend to have a smaller impact on the environment. Locally-sourced materials such as meat, produce, and supply usually have less packaging since they’re coming right from the source; which ultimately leads to more recyclable materials being used, or less trash being thrown away. Locally-sourced materials also require less travel time, cutting down on gas and energy used to transport. Because of this, when you support local businesses, you support environmentally friendly businesses and changes, which everyone is happy about.
2. They offer higher quality work
It’s very easy to head to the nearest department store or national chain for the gifts you’re looking for or for the holiday meal prep you’ve been waiting all year for. However, it’s always possible that the quality of the object or the customer service you receive may not be the best. When you support local businesses and shop locally, you tend to receive a higher quality of work and a higher quality of customer service. Typically this is because small businesses are rooted in their community. They support those that both live and work within their town or city and therefore have more at stake and more of a reason to provide quality work. Their work is their reputation, and maintaining it is a huge responsibility that is solely on their shoulders, so usually from the quality of work to the employees, you receive a better quality of service.
3. They support job and economic growth
Even though small businesses may not seem like they’re able to employ a lot of people at once, according to mass.gov “Small businesses employ 77 million Americans and accounted for 65% of all new jobs over the past 17 years.” which is a significant number especially during these hard times. When we ask ‘why shop local?’ or question the importance of supporting locally owned businesses and brands, this is one of the main reasons, it provides people with jobs and stability that they need for their own families. There’s also the trickle effect when it comes to supporting local businesses, where what you give, is put back into the community. Local shop owners also tend to support each other, which leads to a lot of local economic growth and wealth because the money isn’t going to an outside business or operation. The community continues to benefit financially because of the constant flow of local consumerism which is great especially for small towns and cities.
4. It’s just the right thing to do.
When it comes down to it, supporting your community and local business owners is just the right thing to do; plain and simple. Caring about your community and doing your best to lift them up during hard times, or just in general, is an act of kindness that can seem so small but goes a long way. When we give back to our community, we make it safer, and easier to live for those around us.
At the end of the day whether you’re buying a gift card, going into the store, visiting their online website, or even ordering takeout, the ways you support local businesses matter just as much as why you should support them. We hope that this holiday season you’ll continue to spread love and support one another, and we’ll be happy to provide tips and tricks along the way!