I feel like I’m repeating myself when I say that 202o has been the strangest year in recent memory. But the fact is that 2020 has brought so much into sharp relief, including the importance of friends and family, the need for a solid foundation in life — and the need to support local and small businesses.
Local and small businesses are at the heart of any community. They’re our friends, they’re sometimes our family and — in many cases — they’re striving to make the world a better place via sustainable, organic, and often homegrown and homemade produce and goods.
Let us introduce you to a few compelling reasons why you, too, should support your local and small businesses!
You'll be supporting your local community
When you support your local community, everyone wins. The community is able to thrive more, and you’ll feel a little bit better about yourself.
Remember, local businesses are run by the same people you share a community with! And because lots of local businesses donate a percentage of their profits to local charities, it means that you’re participating in a thriving local economy (instead of handing over all the profit to international, corporate brands that don’t give anything back to your neighbors).
Not just that, but you’ll be helping people to create jobs. You will be literally helping people to stay employed.
You'll be promoting proper artisans and creatives
There’s a gift shop near me (Manchester, UK) that sells all kinds of homemade gifts, including cards and toys. It’s amazing.
The real joy of shopping at a place like this is that I, and many others, get to share unique gifts with our friends and family while also promoting proper artisans and creatives.
When you think about it, a local business is sometimes a platform for creatives who are trying to bring something different into the world. By supporting them, you’re lending a support to anyone who’s really given it a go in the face of overwhelming odds.
Your purchases will be unique
Following on from the above, indie stores — especially bakeries, gift shops, and the like — sell unique, often customizable products that you literally won’t be able to find elsewhere. How cool is it to own something you know that very few other people do? Plus, these things make for incredible gifts!
You might make new friends
One thing I personally love about local, small businesses is that I can get to really know the people who work there.
Last summer, I visited a town in England called Hebden Bridge. We popped our heads into a rather exciting small store that specialized in astrological goods — pendants, beads, books on witchcraft, things like that.
The store was small and empty at the time, save for the proprietor. As it turned out, my friend and I got talking to him or a whole hour! It was a lot of fun, and we learned a few things about him, his business, the town — and his pet dog.
And this is the thing about small businesses: you can have proper, genuine conversations with the staff and even make new friends. It might even get to the point where you visit so often that they even offer you a drink!
They always want the best final result, not your money
There’s no secret that a big company is going to be all about the money: they care about making a final profit so they can get richer and pay their shareholders a fat return on their investment.
A local company is more than that.
They’ll guarantee you a product that is the real deal. A reliable purchase that will promise you quality and a fresh twist on something that you saw by a big brand elsewhere. Sure, you’ll maybe pay a bit more for it, but the money is going to go back into the business to give it the ability to succeed in the future as well as keep the money flowing in the local ecosystem.
How else you can support local businesses
When it comes to supporting a local business, you can do a lot of good even if you don’t want to shop there for whatever reason.
For example, you could simply 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.
Another idea would be simply asking if they need any help in their store or on the market: perhaps, moving some boxes or cutting some fruit for degustation.
There is fun and practical purpose to shopping local. So next time when you have the chance to choose between the local business and a big superstore, try going with the local option: you’ll see that it is going to be the right choice for you and your community’s future.
What are your thoughts on local businesses and what are you doing to support them?
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