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7 Reasons to Shop Small and Local

The pandemic changed the way people think about shopping. Many became more conscious about spending and the types of businesses to support. Many brick-and-mortar stores have had to shut their doors, or re-open with new mask requirements, longer lines, and limited hours. Online shopping became even more prevalent due to safety concerns. Some businesses are still holding on through the strength and support of local communities. Small businesses create pride, character and camaraderie by producing goods and services with the intention to serve their community. When you shop small and local, you are encouraging brands you believe in to stay. In many ways, it is an act of love.

Here are 7 important reasons why it is so important to shop locally now more than ever, whether it is in person or online:

1. You will get a better customer experience.

The employees in small businesses are personally invested in the products and services they are selling, and give you personalized service including product descriptions, uses, backstories, and customer service. Bundles are carefully packaged and handled with love and care. This hands-on, personalized touch cannot be matched by a chain store.

2. Small Businesses create local jobs.

Small businesses need hands to help sell its products and services. The more we support them, the stronger our communities can be. Not only do small businesses employ local talent, they are also the customers of local businesses themselves, and are likely to carry local products as well. The SBA states that since 1995, Small businesses have accounted for 62% if of new job creation compared to large businesses.

3. You are more likely to get a higher quality product.

Local businesses start because they love what they do or make, and the love translates into the final product in the form of a product or service. Makers care about the materials and as result maintain their high standards and operate with more transparency. Local businesses are more likely to focus on the quality of the things they sell rather than the quantity, so you know are receiving something premium and special. Products from overseas skimp on quality, may contain lots of toxic substances, and often coexist with inhumane working conditions.

4. Supporting small is better for the environment.

Many local shops pride themselves on sourcing food and products using more sustainable and responsible practices. Local businesses also tend to locally source raw materials or manufactured products, so less transportation and packaging is required, which decreases pollution, traffic congestion, habitat loss, and resource depletion. Buying locally conserves energy and resources and helps our health and environment

5. You are strengthening your local community.

Your money is going straight into your village, town suburb, or city, helping it to thrive. A thriving community relies on local tax dollars to maintain the infrastructure, beautify neighborhoods, and help support important local programs and initiatives. This helps boost your libraries, schools, public works programs, and infrastructure. Local businesses are also more likely to donate to local charities which help make improvements in the community.

6. You are getting product diversity.

The production of small batch products involve techniques and processes that may not always be used in mass production. Whether it’s a pattern, design, or product flavor, you are getting something that is unique and exclusive by shopping locally. Shopping locally provides product diversity to give more options, breathes new life into communities, and represent the demographics of the surrounding community.

7. You are encouraging innovation.

Local artisans and local shops create goods that represent their culture. Supporting individual makers is supporting real people and you are able to find one of a kind pieces to make your house a home. It is also likely that as their revenue improves, they are likely to hire more employees within their own community.

Choosing to shop small is choosing to invest in your community. Especially during tough economic times, buying locally is a win-win for everyone involved , and it’s a great feeling to know you are supporting your neighbor and enriching your community.

What does shopping local and small mean? Some examples are:

- Support your friend’s local food business, or eating at independently owned restaurants instead of chain restaurants. Take pics and tag their social handles on social media

- Leave positive local Business reviews on Yelp/Google/Facebook and show love for your favorite local store. Many people often only post negative experiences with businesses, but its always nice to get the positive ones too.

- Follow your local businesses on social media. Many businesses offer specials through these channels or showcase products based on your feedback. This is a great way to keep the neighborhood strong, even online.

- Shopping at your local stores instead of a big box store

- Supporting local artisans to make soaps, incense, candles, jewelry, handmade gifts, etc.

- Hiring local craftspeople and your skilled friends to repair/refurbish/repurpose items instead of throwing them away

- Buying seasonal veggies, fruits, flowers at your local farmer’s market

Conclusion of 7 Reasons Why You Should Shop Local and Small:

1. You will get a better customer experience.

2. Small Businesses create local jobs.

3. You are more likely to get a higher quality product

4. Supporting small is better for the environment.

5. You are strengthening your local community.

6. You are getting product diversity.

7. You are encouraging innovation.

Do you find ways to incorporate shopping local and small into your daily practices?

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