Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all great times to shop local for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Standing in the mall giving money to big corporations by buying gifts that are all the same with no unique qualities doesn’t have the same charm it once did. While we cannot shop local for every single thing we need on a daily basis, the holidays are a perfect time to shop local to purchase one-of-a-kind gifts. There are many well-documented benefits to our community and to each of us to choosing local, independently owned businesses this holiday season. Below you’ll find some points on why you should think and shop local first.
Some great reasons to shop local this holiday season:
When you buy local you are supporting yourself. Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than nationally owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms -- continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community.
Shopping local supports more non-profit organization in our area. Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
Because we all want to keep Louisville weird… Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit.
Shopping local reduces environmental impact. Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
Small businesses create more good jobs. Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.
Local are friendly and generally give better service. Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.
It’s an investment in our community. Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, who are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
Put your taxes to good use. Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy. A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
Photograph Courtesy of Anthony Raspberry.