Do you love the local community you live in? Do you want to see it grow and prosper? What if I told you that your city or town could enjoy increased economic benefits if you began to ignore the larger chain stores and instead bought from local business owners? In fact, studies have shown just how important it is to patronize your local shops, which we’ve outlined below. Here are some of the most important reasons why you should shop locally.
More Economic Impact for Your Community
When you shop at local stores, more of the money you spend stays in your community. For instance, a study was done in Chicago and in it, researchers looked at ten restaurants, retail shops and service businesses in the area that were owned by locals. They determined that for every $100 these local businesses earned, they invested $68 back into the community by hiring local employees, doing business with other local shop owners, and by hiring professionals like lawyers and printers who worked in the community. On the other hand, big box stores that earned that same $100 only reinvested $43 back into the community. That’s $25 for every $100 spent that could go towards your community rather than the pockets of big business.
Another study was done in Kent County, Michigan where researchers determined that if the locals were to switch just 10 percent of their business to local shop owners, 1,600 new jobs would be created in the area, which would result in $53 million in additional payroll and $140 million in economic activity for the area.
More Jobs for the Community
It’s a myth that big box stores create more jobs in a local community. The fact is that studies have shown that they reduce the amount of overall jobs in an area. In one study about the impact of Walmart and local jobs, it was shown that when a big box store opens in an area, it typically represents a net loss of 150 retail jobs. One reason for this is that other businesses experience a decline when a big box store opens, and that results in the laying off of employees. These local business experience a drop in sales because people spend the same amount of money—they just begin spending it at the chain store instead of their local shops.
More Shopping Choices
Sure, big box stores are huge, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have more shopping options if one moves to your town. Here’s the reason: the big box stores are built so large for one reason, and that is to eliminate the competition. That means every store that closes in your area is one less place you’ll be able to shop. For example, imagine that a large chain store opened in your area and it carried shoes as a part of its offerings. This caused the local shoe store to close down, and that not only resulted in less economic benefits for the area and a loss of jobs for its employees, but also a drastically reduced selection for shoppers.
What makes this even worse is that many times, these large stores move into an area and offer low prices to drive away the competition (aka local businesses), and then once they’re the only game in town, they raise their prices, leaving local consumers with both high prices and no shopping alternatives.
As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to shop local in your community. It will help keep the area prosperous, maintain jobs, and ensure that the local residents always have plenty of good options for whatever it is they’re looking for. Be sure you check with your local business directories to find the best local businesses near you. What about you? Have you visited your local shops today?