When I was at work yesterday, a former tenant who started her business with her husband came by to tell me that their store was closing. My heart dropped. They, like many other local businesses, have fallen victim to COVID and the aftermath. There have been several local staples that have been around for a while, that have been forced to close their doors forever. The sad thing is that places like Amazon are thriving while the mom and pop places are having a difficult time remaining open.
It’s important to support local. I didn’t comprehend how much it mattered until COVID hit. Fresh produce, fresh flowers, fresh products, and the dependability of wholesome foods and brands become a staple in communities. The big corporations may offer lots of perks that smaller stores can’t do, but they can’t know you by name. They don’t always have the personal touch that local merchants provide. Plus, not only are you putting dollars into their stores, but there are many behind the scenes people who provide products who will lose their livelihood if the store closes.
Here are ten reasons that supporting local matters.
1. Local Character and Prosperity
Local businesses can cater to one of a kind items that are difficult to find. They also help support the community and other merchants along with their customers.
2. Community Well-Being
Locally owned businesses support other businesses and local events. You won’t find big commercial companies that will sponsor a little league team. If you do, they’ve managed to make it to a bigger level than local or they have connections with the company. Local businesses take pride in their communities and want them to flourish.
3. Local Decision-Making
Local ownership also is pivotal in helping to make decisions within the community. They have a stake in success as well as failure. Don’t assume otherwise.
4. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy
Local businesses like to give back to the community. Those dollars keep circulating within the community to allow for growth and more businesses to operate.
5. Job and Wages
One of the perks of working for small businesses is that employees are more like family. It’s a tight-knit group that can often receive better perks and incentives than the big boys.
One of the best things about small businesses is they promote entrepreneurship. The reason? When local businesses support one another everyone wins.
7. Public Benefits and Costs
Most local businesses provide easy access and options that are not readily available anywhere else. This means that they can offer various types of merchandise and products all varying in costs. Plus, the quality is often higher with a local business.
8. Environmental Sustainability
Many local businesses recycle and use eco-friendly products. They also offer information on their products and give credence to other local merchants.
One of the best things about local is that they may have competition but it keeps businesses healthy. Competition can be one of the driving forces for a healthy business. Unfortunately, COVID has made it to where many businesses have had to change their operating styles to function.
10. Product Diversity
Most people are not thinking about Amazon when they go to a local farmers market. There’s a lot that you can get on Amazon and you can get Fresh produce through places like Whole Foods that Amazon owns but many people want to know where their food is coming from and pay particular attention to ingredients. Artificial ingredients have been known to have various side effects on people and have been linked to various types of cancer and other diseases. Local businesses try to make sure that they are following the proper health guidelines and adhere to what their communities need. Not everything is food. My friends that are going out of business have been running a pet food company that deals in all-natural ingredients and products. My cat loves them. Looks like I’m going to be stocking up before they close.
I know we’ve all heard to support local. Yes, it might be cheaper to get what you need from the local COSTCO or Walmart. We all need to support each other and local businesses now more than ever. It’s not just stores and restaurants closing. It’s a way of life that people are losing. Little by little, each store that closes, shuts the book on opportunities in our communities. I know times are hard, but we have to try to keep each other from falling into that trap. Support local as often as you can. Your communities are counting on you.