Maybe you’ve heard of the Shop Local movement, and although you try to frequent as many local shops as you can, you still just haven’t completely made the switch. Or maybe you’ve heard all the hype about shopping local, but you don’t understand the reasons or motivation behind the movement.
If either of these sound like you, this article will help. In it, we’ll take a look at what the Shop Local movement is, why it’s important, and then tell you how to use USA business listings to make the switch yourself.
So, if you want to learn how to support your local community by shopping locally, read on for an in-depth look at this issue.
What is the Shop Local Movement?
A long time ago, people used to shop at the stores and businesses closest to them, but then came the internet and everything changed. People began shopping online because they could get bargains that they just couldn’t find locally. And before recent laws changed, they didn’t have to pay sales tax on those internet purchases either.
But along with global shopping came some disadvantages. Neighborhood shops began closing as they couldn’t compete with the internet giants for sales. And in addition to communities losing their iconic stores, people began realizing that when they bought from big box stores and internet giants, many of the products looked the same. In other words, uniqueness was taken out of the picture and people were forced to accept limited products and styles.
These issues gave birth to the shop local movement. People who are proponents of this movement always look first to their local communities whenever they need to buy something. They go to farmer’s markets for their produce to buy from local farmers who grow the vegetables, the locally owned hardware store when they need a can of paint, or to the local florist when they need to order a bouquet.
If you’re still unsure of the benefits of shopping locally by using USA business listings, here are a few more reasons why you should consider making the switch.
Why Should You Use USA business Listings to Shop Locally?
If you’re thinking that the Shop Local movement is right for you, but you’re not quite convinced, here are some pretty compelling reasons to do so.
- You’ll help build your local community. It’s just common sense that when you spend money, you want it to go back into the local community that you live in. But when you shop online—or even in big box stores—that doesn’t happen. In fact, a recent study shows that when people spend $100 in local stores, $68 of that goes back into the local community. On the other hand, when people spend $100 at a big box store, only $43 of that goes back into the local community. And online shopping? Aside from local tax dollars, it’s a fair bet to say that none of the $100 would go back to your local community. In a culture where local communities are struggling to survive, doesn’t it make sense to use your consumer dollars to boost it up rather than give them to another locale?
- You’ll help create more local jobs. It’s a common misconception that large, corporate businesses create the most jobs in America. In fact, small, local business owners are the job creators in our country. The U.S. Census Bureau says that of the 5.73 million firms in the U.S. with employees, 99.7 percent of them are businesses with less than 500 employees. Even smaller businesses, like those with less than 20 employees, make up 89.6 percent of those businesses who employee people. These are likely the business owners in your community who are providing employment opportunities to you and your neighbors. And when you shop locally using USA business listings, you support those employers.
- You’ll keep your local culture alive. As we stated above, when you shop at big box stores, you’ll only have access to limited products and styles because these stores survive by appealing to the masses. But local shop owners understand the culture that surrounds them and tend to offer more culturally appropriate and unique items for sale.
- You’ll encourage innovation among small shop owners. Another great benefit of shopping local with USA business directories is that local shop owners will begin to compete for business. Once they realize that local consumers are dedicated to shopping locally, they will work hard to ensure that their store is the best one in town.
- You’ll create an engaged community. Communities that are close knit typically tend to care more about their area and work hard to keep it safe from crime. In addition, shop local communities have a higher quality of public health, which results in less taxes because government isn’t as involved in the cleanup of crime or health services.
- You’ll positively impact the local environment. We’ve all heard about the importance of lowering our carbon footprints, and shopping locally is one of the best ways you can do that. You’ll eliminate the need to ship the product to you, as well as all the packaging materials that would need to be used.
Now that you understand the importance of shopping locally, let’s talk about the best way to do it. As you’re probably already aware, it can be difficult to find US local businesses on the large search engines. That’s because local results are often only found after looking at many pages of results. The unfortunate truth is that the results you see at the top of the page are often large businesses that have paid thousands of dollars in internet advertising costs, or they have engaged in other marketing tactics. That leaves local consumers frustrated. Luckily, there’s an answer. Here’s a primer on how to find US local businesses online.
Step One: Find US Local Businesses by Looking in the Right Place
We’ve shown you why searching on the major search engines isn’t likely to produce the local results you want, but you do have an alternative. US business directories were created to combat this problem. These local directories only show the results from your local area so you will never have to wade through the irrelevant listings of big stores that paid to be there.
Step Two: Choose the Right USA Business Directories
Keep in mind that not all USA business directories are the same. Some will require the visitor to enter their zip code just to show them results from their area. But the more effective USA business directories use GEO location technology. That means as soon as a visitor logs into the site, the local directory will “read” their location and automatically show them the results from their area.
Step Three: Take Advantage of the Perks
Some USA directories like FindUsLocal.com offer visitors more than local search results. These quality local directories offer you the chance to see local events happening in your area, such as concerts, plays, and sporting events. The directory also allows you see real time social media posts from your area, the weather, featured artists, and even inspirational quotes that are changed every day.
Step Four: Check out the Reviews
Once you’ve found the USA business listings you want, be sure to check out the reviews other consumers have left for them. Studies have shown that consumers don’t like to do business with stores that don’t have at least some positive reviews, and there’s good reason for that. People who are thrilled with a local business are much more likely to leave a positive review, and those reviews help you choose the business you go to. And in addition to reading the reviews about a business, you should consider leaving one yourself if you’ve had a pleasant or unpleasant experience at the business.
As you can see, there are not only many great reasons for joining the shop local movement, but USA business directories also make it easy. Remember, you can boost your community and help with its economy by shopping at local stores, and you can find US local businesses by using local directories like FindUsLocal.com What are you waiting for? Don’t you have some shopping to do?