Monday, November 23, 2009

Why Shop Local? Whats in it for you?

With the holiday season looming in your will hear chatter of "shopping local" on the streets. What does it mean and why should you care? Does shopping local really make a difference to anyone? Lets take a minute and learn a few things about shopping local. Then you can decide for yourself if shopping local is important to you.

1. Better Service and Friendly People.

When you walk into a local shop you are often greeted by the shop owner, they can tell you all about what they sell with great passion. Often they are a million times more helpful and friendlier then the help you might find in a big box store.

2. Local Economic Stimulus.

Ah yes, something everyone is worried about these days. When you shop at a locally owned business rather than a national chain more money is kept in the community. This helps grow the other businesses around and the local tax base.

3. New Jobs in the Community.

Sick of your commute? Local businesses are the most likely to offer new jobs to the marketplace in a community. They also offer great opportunities for youth to gain work experience.

4. Local Businesses Give Back where YOU need it.

Did your baseball team or organization have a raffle this year? Chances are that locally owned businesses donated the prizes for your event. Local business are owned by the people that rally to raise money when there is a family with a sick child or donate when the schools are having a fundraiser. Does your favorite big box store do that for you?

5. Unique businesses create a Unique and Prosperous town.

The Businesses that are in a town largely determine the character of the town. This adds to the overall satisfaction that you feel living there and also the value of your property and home.

6. Local Decision Making.

Local ownership means that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

7. Ensuring Choice and Diversity.

Retailers sift through competing goods and services to find those that appeal to their customers. Even though a single local shop may have a smaller selection than a big chain outlet, a multiplicity of independent retailers creates great diversity.

8. Shopping Local is something fun to do on a Rainy Day.

Got the rainy day blues? Go browse your local shops for unique items and for fun. You could spend a whole afternoon trying things on and checking things out. Chat with the owners and learn more about your local neighborhood.

9. Its More Environmentally Friendly to Shop local.

Walking around town shopping is easier on the environment then driving to the big box stores. Small little shops in a towns core cause less environmental impact then large sprawling malls, resulting in less habitat loss, energy use and waste.

10. Vote with your Wallet.

Your values and opinions are much more important to a small local shop then a large chain store. You can influence what products they carry and convince them to cater to YOUR needs. They will value so much more and take note of what you like!

So there you have it, 10 amazing reasons to stimulate your local economy today. When you spend $100 at a local business $73 off that will stay in your local economy. With the same $100 spent at a national chain only $43 will stay in your local economy. The rest of the money will be hard at work providing jobs for people far, far away.


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