How Supporting Local Businesses Supports Local Communities
It’s an understatement to say the last year has been difficult for small and local businesses.
Businesses have struggled to find ways to stay open and stay safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Many had to shut their doors, and too many have closed down permanently. Fortune estimates that “nearly 100,000 establishments that temporarily shut down due to the pandemic are now out of business.”
While things are beginning to look up, there is still concern that more businesses could close -- especially those in hard-hit sectors like hospitality, retail, and restaurants.
If communities want to keep their local restaurants, boutique hotels, and shops open, they are going to need to support these businesses -- and there is good reason to.
How Local Businesses Support the Community
Local businesses are important to the economics and culture of a community. The benefits of thriving local businesses can cause a ripple effect of many benefits for a city.
Keep Money In Your Community
When people spend money at local shops and restaurants, it is far more likely for that money to stay in the community rather than get sent off to another area.
Local First looked at the impact of shopping local and found that when you shop at a local store, $68 of $100 stays in your community. When you shop at a non-local store, only $43 of the same $100 stays in your community.
When you shop local, more money stays right around your region, and that leads to a variety of benefits for the community.
- Wages are paid to members of your community. You infuse more money into your community by putting wages in the pockets of people who are more likely to spend money back in the community.
- Local taxes are used for local government needs. Local businesses pay local taxes which increase city revenues and can lead to more money for community development, schools, local police, and fire, among other city initiatives.
- More money is donated to local charities and nonprofits. Local businesses are more likely to use their profits to make local donations and invest in the nearby community. According to SCORE, “Small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to community causes."
- More money is spent at other local businesses. Local businesses use other local businesses as vendors. The money spent at a local business can funnel into other local businesses for services such as taxes, accounting, and printing or for products such as locally-grown fruit and vegetables.
A majority of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the community. The only part of the dollar that leaves is money spent on products that needed to be imported from outside of your community.
Support Local Jobs
It should go without saying that every time a local business closes, locals lose their jobs. Supporting local business helps keep local jobs in the community. Small businesses employ roughly 47.5% of the workforce in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration, so it’s vital to keep these jobs in every community.
Maintain a Unique City Culture
In addition to the economic impacts, you also help instill and keep a unique culture when you buy from local businesses. Local brands often pull from elements that are specific to a city, such as pulling from the history or geography of the region to shape the style, flavors, and nature of their businesses. Shopping local ensures that these elements can keep the city true to its nature and help it stand apart from other cities and communities.
Decrease Environmental Impact
More greenhouse gases are emitted shipping products in and out of a community. When you shop for and buy products that are sourced and made locally, you create less of an environmental impact. Just another reason to shop local!
Related: Reasons Why We "Live Like a Local" and Think You Should, Too
How Can You Support Local Businesses?
Supporting local businesses helps support your local community. So how can you get involved?
- Shop there! Buy from local businesses. If they aren’t open yet, see if you can buy a gift card to use when they re-open.
- Write a review. Online customer reviews are powerful ways for small businesses to pull in new customers. If you love a local business, write a positive review on their Facebook or Google page.
- Like their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram. Following the local businesses you like also helps them get more attention on social networks. It adds a sense of trust and perceived value to the business.
- Tell your friends. Locals love personal recommendations. Tell your friends about your favorite spots, and tag and mention businesses on social when you visit.
- Choose local vendors for your business. If you run a local business that hasn’t been as hard hit as others in your community, support them by bringing them on as vendors. For example, if you’re hosting an office lunch, choose a nearby, locally-owned deli to cater your food.
Supporting Local Businesses Is Our Mission
At MyArea Network, it’s no secret that we love local.
We are a local marketing platform that believes local businesses support and shape their community. Small businesses are the backbone of a great town or city, and it is our mission to make sure they have what they need to succeed.
We’re getting ready to launch new initiatives that help local businesses survive and thrive during this difficult time. But that’s not all.
We’re also getting ready to launch new initiatives that help locals -- both customers and other businesses -- support businesses in their community. Keep an eye out for more details about our small business support initiatives to see how you can help.
Or get started now by contacting us to see how you can get involved or find support for you local business.