5 Reasons to Shop Small and Local
As well as being a proud business owner myself, I’m also a passionate supporter of other small, local businesses in my adopted hometown of Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Idaho Falls is home to some beautiful boutique stores, art galleries, farmers markets and thrift stores. When I shop with these small businesses, I find one-of-a-kind, handcrafted products, connect with people in my community and know I’m supporting the local economy.
Here’s why you should shop small and local too:
1. Shopping Local Builds Communities
Think about all the people who live in your local community - your family and friends, your neighbors, even your kid’s swimming coach.
Supporting (or just bumping in to) these people when you shop, builds strong connections, and fosters a sense of community. Creating an environment of people who support and care about each other.
Research tells us a strong and vibrant community tends to have a lower crime rate and lower incidence of depression.
Shopping local builds a safer and happier community!
2. Supporting Local Businesses Strengthens the Local Economy
When local, small businesses are successful, the economy of the community is stronger.
As local businesses grow, they provide more jobs and more services and products that are needed within the community. This means you don’t have to travel a long way for work or to buy the things you need.
Thriving local businesses have a knock-on effect in the town they operate in. More tax dollars go into city funds, and these can be used to improve local infrastructures, schools, and public libraries. Neighborhoods become more attractive and safer, more desirable places to live.
3. Better Bosses and Better Customer Service
When you’re working with your neighbor or your friend’s dad, there’s a different level of connection and respect that isn’t always seen in big city corporations. Employers want to see their employees succeed and employees want to be part of a business that cares about the community.
Family businesses are built on trust and reciprocity, looking to the future welfare of the community instead of just the bottom dollar. This means business owners treat their customers better because they want them coming back for more.
There’s nothing better than when your shop assistant asks you how your holiday was or whether your sister’s recital went well!
4. Small, local businesses make more interesting neighborhoods
Boutique shops add character to towns in a way that big chain stores never can.
Whether it’s quirky signage, beautiful window displays, or artisan, locally-made food, a street full of small, local businesses can be a joy to walk down.
Businesses that offer unique products or services also encourage visitors from outside the local community. They become a popular place for tourists or nearby city-dwellers to come for a weekend break.
Businesses that are supported flourish and hold events such as wine tastings and book-signings which further fosters the sense of community as well as building lasting memories.
5. Local entrepreneurship empowers people
As a stay at home mom, this last point is very close to my heart.
It’s easy to lose your sense of self when you have kids. All of a sudden, you’re ‘Mom’ (or Dad) and whoever you were before gets forgotten (especially when the kids are small).
For me, even though I’m time-poor, when I’m working on (and in) my business, I find I rediscover who I am. It’s the me-time that I desperately need.
I find it immensely fulfilling and empowering running a thriving, local business that aligns with my values and helps support my family.
When you support local businesses, you’re supporting this kind of entrepreneurship and all the amazing life skills and learning curves that go with it.
You encourage collaboration and confidence, thinking outside the box – being a thought leader.
In these uncertain times, I believe it’s more important than ever to support the local businesses that are the foundation of a strong community.
If you’d like to support my own small, sustainable sewing business, you can browse my online shop here.