Nearly everyone has experienced the ease and convenience of shopping online, but what about those businesses who keep the local economy in motion – the mom-and-pop businesses who have been in existence since most of those reading this were born.
Every year, more and more of these small businesses are failing, and while it can be largely attributed to the changing landscape of the shopping experience and the changes the world witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping local businesses is one of the vital parts to keeping a town alive.
There are many benefits to shopping locally.
Nobody wants to have to work to get the things everyone needs. Being able to simply walk down the street and find exactly what one is looking for is what it's all about.
Besides that, stopping at the store will often result in the purchase of other items one may have otherwise forgotten or had to go somewhere else to purchase.
Purchasing at local businesses keeps money local, stimulating the local economy and helps other local businesses grow. When making purchases from large businesses, specifically those tied to a chain or a franchise, that money goes wherever the company needs it and often to the headquarters of the business, oftentimes nowhere near one’s hometown.
Local touch and customer service
Local businesses serve a select group of people and not the masses of the nation or even the world. Local businesses thrive on selling what their customers want. Most times, if one doesn’t find what they are looking for at a local business, that business will go out of their way to find what their customers need.
Local businesses will not only make leaps for their customers, but they are also comprised of people who are part of the community. Many times, businesses will take part in fundraising and other events to help promote the needs of the community, whether to support a family in need, help out the local non-profits and much more.
Another facet of this; many businesses offer some sort of delivery service to help out some of the elderly folks or people are in need of extra assistance and may be otherwise incapable of doing shopping on their own. Small businesspeople care about their community and they aren’t afraid to show the community that love.
There is not much more frustrating than terrible customer service. When going to a local business, they know the matter of the fact is without the consumer, their business does not exist. Because of this, they will go out of their way to help out their customers and make right any wrong in a hurry.
This was touched on before, but many small businesses are a part of the community where they operate, and they are impacted directly by nearly everything their customer experiences. This allows for an understanding of circumstances and local happenings, making for a more “at-home” feel when shopping locally.
When shopping locally, those coming to local businesses keep the shopkeeper’s dream from failing. Having a small business is a risky venture and can be devastating if the dream fails. Small businesspeople are just as much community servants as anyone else. They set out to find what the community is lacking, how to fill that gap and then put their own livelihood on the line to make filling the gap their own priority for the consumers in the community.
More often than not, small businesses are started to expand on a hobby, passion or desire by the business owner. Being as this is the case; small businesspeople are typically extremely knowledgeable about the products they sell. The business owner can often service their own goods, provide local customer support or provide maintenance for whatever they are selling. This makes those troubling times when things don’t quite go right a little smoother.
The final consideration for shopping locally is the impact shopping local has on the environment. When one shops local, they are often walking down the road or even driving a short distance to get to the local shops. By doing this, one can save on fuel, emissions, packaging, shipping, transportation costs and much more.