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Top 5 Reasons to Support Locally-Owned Businesses
By now, you have probably received the message - “buy locally”.  You have probably received it a lot more recently…In today’s fast-paced society, consumers often find it more convenient to just click and buy, and large online retailers and big box stores are crowding our small business owners out of the marketplace.  However, there are several very important reasons to get in the practice of supporting our locally- owned businesses:

 1.   It is an investment in your local economy.   Local business owners typically also live, dine, shop, serve, and raise their families in your community, and their profits are more heavily invested back into that community, helping to increase local wealth, tax revenue, and standard of living.  Locally owned businesses provide more jobs locally and, in many cases, offer better compensation and a better work environment than large chains do. In addition, local business owners care about the community and will thus make business decisions in the best interest of the community.
 2.  You can expect a better product &/or service.   Local businesses rely heavily on word-of-mouth and referrals for their businesses to thrive.  Therefore, you can expect more personable and personalized service from a local business than from a big chain.  Their product knowledge is generally better, and they will almost always stand behind their product or service if there is a problem.  Plus, the potential of running into a customer at church or the grocery store will usually inspire you to do a better job for them.
 3.  You will encourage product diversity in your community.  Big box stores tend to homogenize product selection, only stocking the products that sell in large volumes or that produce the highest profit margins.  The small business owner, however, offers items or services that are more unique and specific to their own interests and the needs and interests of their customers, and are generally more responsive to special requests.
 4.  You will help create a thriving town center for your community.  Frequenting local businesses will help those businesses thrive and can help sustain a bustling and unique town square or town center in your community.  This enhances the overall community experience by bringing neighbors together, enhancing social and economic relationships, and attracting travelers from outside your community to come and bring their shopping, dining, and lodging dollars in.  It’s a win-win-win!
5.  You will support entrepreneurship and the “American dream”.  You will take pride in knowing that you are actually putting food on the table of the local business owner and that your purchases are driving a key vehicle for moving families from low-paying jobs into the middle class.  You are encouraging bold and innovative minds and are helping make the “American dream” a reality!