As smart consumers, many of us shop around relentlessly for the best prices on everything from our groceries to our wardrobes. Saving money on things we are going to buy anyway is a great feeling. The largest retailers tend to have some leeway to cut their prices, which can sometimes hurt smaller shops. Despite the higher prices, however, sometimes it is important to support local small businesses. Here are five reasons why:
1. Helping dreams come true
Becoming a small business owner is a dream for many people, but it can also be stressful, especially when competing with larger businesses that have national recognition and large marketing budgets behind them. Frequenting local small businesses helps your neighbors realize their dream of owning a business and potentially leaving something behind for their children. While becoming a customer to local businesses may not be your cup of tea, supporting them now and then can mean a lot to someone who lives and breathes their dream.
2. Building your neighborhood
The busier we become, the more we fail to make local neighborhood connections. We can change that by shopping at local businesses. For example, go to a local coffee shop or diner that is owned by a small business owner to make connections that you might otherwise not have. It is also an opportunity to network with your local neighbors and even make friends.
3. Quality vs. quantity
Even though it is easy to shop at large retailers, shopping at small businesses can sometimes mean better quality products and even better customer service. You get a chance to know small business owners and they get a chance to know you. Building personal relationships can be great for your attitude and quality of life.
4. Keeping dollars local
When you support local small businesses, the money they earn typically stays local. Many small businesses are also supported by local banks who also spend their dollars at other small businesses. This makes cities and towns, and even neighborhoods, stronger and helps generate local jobs.
5. Inspiring others
When you support small business owners, it helps to bolster entrepreneurship in others. They see that people actually care about small businesses instead of relying solely on large national retailers. If you have children, it is a great lesson to teach them that they, too, can become entrepreneurs if they want, and if they do a fantastic job, people will support them as well.
Small businesses can be the backbone of local economies, help foster lasting relationships and build vibrant neighborhoods. It is easy to shop where you may find lower prices, but making friends with people in your city and supporting hardworking small business owners is priceless.
Credit: Jennifer James