Working with a local business to provide goods and services is not only convenient but it also spurs on the local economy and helps small companies in your community thrive. More than 28 million of them now operate in this country, with about 63 percent of new jobs emerging from small businesses between 1993 and 2013 alone, according to Forbes. Most of those 28 million businesses are self-employed, which comprise three-quarters of the total businesses in the United States. Sadly, only half of small businesses survive more than five years. So get out there and support your local coffee shop, boutique, doctor or pet shop today! Here are some of the many benefits that come from supporting local business.
Personalized Customer Experiences
Think about it: do you develop an ongoing friendly relationship with the big box store employees near you? Probably not. Do you chat with the proprietor of your local coffee shop when you pop in every morning for your much-needed cup of joe? Probably so! By fostering relationships with the small businesses in your town, you’re establishing a trusting, symbiotic give-and-take relationship with them. Those owners are going to steer you to the best deals, special order something you really need, and might even bend the rules a bit for loyalty, such as through a generous interpretation of a return policy. Small business owners care more about your satisfaction than their corporate counterparts because they rely on your repeat business, so they are more likely to get involved personally.
Unique Product Selection
Some products you just can’t find in a department store, such as one-of-a-kind collectibles or that cute little Teddy Bear that sends just the right message. Big box merchants may have a high volume of items for sale, but that doesn’t always translate to actually having a more diverse inventory. For special items that mean something to you, head to a small business to find a unique gift that you won’t find anywhere else. Your local merchant is also more willing to special order something for you that they may not have in stock, and give you a call right when it comes in.
Giving Back to the Community
It’s more likely that local small businesses will do what they can to give back to the community in which they live and work. Sure, the dollars customers spend in their shops stay local, but it goes beyond that. Small businesses add rich depth and character to the streets of a downtown area, strengthening relationships between neighbors, other business leaders, local political leaders, schools and more through support of support local causes, fundraisers and the like. Small businesses like coffee shops and book stores offer spaces for neighbors to meet and interact, and help a community feel like one.
Keeping the Local Job Force Thriving
Local small businesses tend to hire local workers. This strengthens the immediate economy through the hiring of high school kids, moms and dads, and even the elderly who need a shot at earning money, points out the Houston Chronicle.
There are many benefits that come with working with a small business. Keeping those owners in business through your patronage goes a long way toward building a great place to live from the ground up, right in your own community.