I know you cannot always stay out of the big box stores for every purchase you make. But,.. you can train yourself to think of your local merchants first and checking with them to see if they have what you need. It isn’t hard to do and you will be helping your local economy more than you know. I personally hate to drive around large parking lots looking for a space. The walking I don’t mind so much but it is the driving around trying to find a spot close to the door. Then you have people with that “Walmart” attitude where they just walk out in front of you and expect you to stop, no matter if they are in a crosswalk or not. Here are a few ways shopping local benefits the local economy.
1. Non-profit organizations receive on average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
2. 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. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
3. 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 sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.
4. Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally, and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.
5. Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers.
6. Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
7. 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.