Editorial: Why shop local?
Why should you shop local?
That’s a valid question. Given that big box retailers offer sizeable discounts and online vendors stock virtually everything under the sun, it’s no surprise that the independent small business often gets looked over by the consumer.
But there are some pretty compelling reasons to spend your money at your neighborhood mom-and-pop store and locally-owned restaurant.
First of all, the money stays in the community. Instead of profits going to some corporate headquarters in another state, the money you spend at the local store remains right here. It gets fed back into the local economy, so that you and your neighbors benefit. The business owners—your friends and neighbors—pay local taxes, supporting your children’s schools, the county’s police, fire and rescue services, and every other pressing need.
And the generosity of the local business community is well known. They’re the ones that sponsor the Little League and soccer teams; they frequently hold fundraisers for local charities; they’re the ones that donate merchandise and gift certificates for raffles and other events; and when they are able to pass along a cash donation, the local business owner is acutely aware of the community that has provided support over the years.
Another reason is service. Walk into a small business and you’ll see it. More often than not, you’ll be greeted by the owner. Not only will that person give you a friendly “Hello,” he or she will also be able to answer your questions about the merchandise. After all, it’s their business. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, just mention it to the person waiting on you. They can probably special order it for you, and may even decide to carry it as part of their regular inventory. And if you have trouble with a product, they’ll do their best to make sure you’re happy. They have a flexibility that the big chain stores lack.
Reason #3: They keep our downtown areas vibrant. If we were to abandon all our small businesses, what would happen to our business districts? The quaint Court House villages would be little more than boarded-up windows and doors.
Those are just a few of the many reasons to shop local. Please remember that on Shop Local Day this Saturday … and the other 364 days of the year.