We’re living in economically turbulent times. A worldwide pandemic has severely affected businesses, big or small, and forced thousands (if not millions) of people out of jobs. Quite literally, it has stopped travel of all forms. Even as the world is slowly starting to open up again, people still find it difficult to recover financially.
In volatile economic environments, the businesses that suffer the most are your local community businesses. You know the type— they’ve been a long staple in the neighborhood, owned by your neighbors, and often have very personalized service. They’re the ones without corporate financial backing. Thus, they suffer greatly when the circumstances prevent their customers from going to them.
Why We Should Support Local Business
There are many reasons why you should go and support your local establishments first, and below are some reasons to (hopefully) convince you.
Local Businesses Help the Local Economy
This vulnerability is one of the primary reasons why we should always support local businesses first. Each and every transaction is very important to these local business owners. They thrive on community attention, and they provide the community with invaluable services. They provide services and also add to the local economy by paying business tax and offering employment to everyone willing to work for them. Research has shown that small businesses make up a large percentage of employers. You may be working for one! Local businesses are an important part of every community’s economy, making them essential in helping a community flourish and grow. Perhaps a telltale sign of a strong local economy is the presence of many small and local businesses. After all, a community with members who support one another flourish together.
They’re Owned by People Like You
Small business owners are often operated and owned by your very neighbors, which often means they care very much about the well-being of your local community. Their intention isn’t just to earn a profit but to give something to the community. Think about your local laundromats. In areas where real estate is expensive and a large studio apartment with a big bathroom would fetch high prices, a laundromat is heaven sent. These businesses are handled by people who know that there is a need for their services and are doing their best to meet that need. They’re owned by people not unlike you, and they most probably patronize other local businesses as well.
The smaller nature of local businesses also lends itself to providing personalized customer service. You most probably know each other. Even if you don’t know each other personally, you know each other by virtue of being in the same community. Local businesses tend to be more readily available to accommodate your requests more than big businesses, and they’ll most likely remember your preferences and offer them to you the next time you visit their establishment, too. Small businesses also produce significantly less carbon footprint than large conglomerates, making their business great for the environment.
How We Can Support
Supporting small businesses is pretty straightforward: patronize them, buy their products and services, and support their campaigns. However, here’s a very quick checklist you can follow.
- Eat at a local diner instead of a chain restaurant.
- Join a local gym instead of a franchised fitness facility.
- Buy from local bakers and buy other locally produced sweets.
- Get a local mechanic to fix your car.
- Hire local performers for your special events.
Be Vocal and Help Boost Reputation
Reputation is an interesting thing. It basically grows on itself. A good reputation multiplies itself, but so does a bad reputation. For a business, their reputation is just as important as their customers. After all, it’s how their clients interpret their services, whether it’s good or bad, or if they’ll return or not. Through actively and vocally supporting a local business, you’re essentially boosting their good reputation and, in turn, the business itself. Your local dentist wanting to get good dental PR would benefit from you referring your friends to them. The same goes for your neighborhood mom-and-pop restaurant. Hungry with a friend? Bring them to your favorite local restaurant. Local businesses rely heavily on reputation. By simply being vocal about your support, you’re helping their business succeed.
The next time you need to grab lunch, consider buying from a small restaurant instead. They might have some food you’ll enjoy or even have services that will make you come back for more. When you need to buy products from the supermarket, consider going to your local grocer instead. Regardless, you’re doing a good deed not just to one person but to the whole community.