Reasons Why We 'Live Like a Local' and Think You Should Too

By Raubi Perilli

      Aug 11, 2017     Solutions    

MyArea Network's mission is to connect people to the businesses, places, and things to do in their community. We do this because we want to help people have fun and enjoy their cities. But, we also do it for a much bigger purpose.  

We help people "live like a local" because -- businesses and residents benefit greatly when they do.  

When local residents and businesses are connected, it creates a cyclical, beneficial effect. The more people support local businesses, the stronger the community becomes. The stronger the community becomes, the stronger the people and businesses become.  

Everyone wins when residents and businesses are connected and supportive of each other. It creates a continuous, ongoing impact that improves cities and the lives of the people living in them.

  • It keeps money in the local economy. Research finds that money spent at small, locally-owned businesses tends to stay in the local economy more than money spent at large businesses. A civil economy study in Chicago found that “independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors.”
  • It supports a unique community identity. A community can't have a unique identity if all of its businesses are the same as the businesses in every other city. Locally-owned businesses put a community’s identity on display and help shape the culture and vibe of the area. In Tampa, the Columbia Restaurant does more than serve food. It represents the city’s history and culture and offers a unique flair that differentiates Tampa from other cities.
  • It provides superior product offerings. Often, locally-run businesses have better access to other locally made or grown products. Whether it’s a restaurant that gets fruits, vegetables, and meats from nearby farms or boutiques that have access to local artists and crafters who make one-of-a-kind products, locally-owned businesses can often provide customers with fresher or more authentic products.
  • It provides more personal service. When large, big box retailers place their values on scale, quantity, and mass-production, they lose the ability to offer something customers love -- personal service. Small, locally-owned businesses can still offer the personal, one-on-one service that is usually lost in big business. They are more likely to get to know their customers, learn about their unique needs, and provide more personal solutions.  
  • It supports an entrepreneurial community. When locally-owned businesses are thriving and there is proof that residents want to support small companies, it inspires more new businesses to open. A community that is welcoming to new businesses will attract entrepreneurs looking for communities to launch their new ventures.
  • It stimulates jobs growth. More businesses mean more jobs. Entrepreneur Magazine reports, "60 percent to 80 percent of all U.S. jobs are created by small businesses." So as more small businesses pop-up in a community, there will be more and more job openings and opportunities for residents to find work.
  • It supports local non-profits. Small businesses are more likely to give back to their communities than large organizations. Sustainable Connections reports that, “Non-profit organizations receive on average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.” So when local residents spend money at nearby businesses, it’s more likely that some of their dollars will end up supporting local non-profits and charity organizations.
  • It adds a stronger local perspective to politics. It’s common for business owners to get involved with local politics and issues that impact local commerce, the economy, and city regulations and development. When more business owners are also local residents, it adds more local perspective into the shaping of the outcomes of those issues. The local community is more accurately represented when business owners that also live in the area speak up about issues, rather than representatives unfamiliar with the community.

Connecting businesses and people improves a community’s politics, economy, work opportunities, marketplace, and uniqueness. So, it makes perfect sense to strengthen and reinforce that connection.  

Related: How Supporting Local Businesses Supports Local Communities

Unfortunately, even for the people and businesses who want to build that bridge, it can be difficult to find ways to connect and learn about one another.  

That’s why MyArea Network was founded.  

At MyArea Network, we believe strongly in the power of developing local communities by strengthening relationships between residents and local businesses. So our platform is designed to connect the two.

We make it easy for residents (and visitors) to find locally-owned businesses. And, we also make it easy for small businesses to access the tools, marketing solutions, and platform they need to connect with local customers.

Local connections are more important than ever, and we are working to strengthen these important bonds to support cities and the people who live in them.

If you're interested in supporting this mission and improving your city by connecting with your community, find your city and start making connections today.