It started with a call to action by a corporate giant, American Express, November 27, 2010. Small Business Saturday encouraged people across the U.S. to support small, local businesses. It was meant to help small businesses with what they most from their communities, clients and customers. Every year since, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the call goes out for people to shop local. And the call is answered. An estimated $5.5 billion is spent with local, small businesses on that one special day devoted to calling attention to the over 28 million small business in the U.S. What a great way to support your local economy. There are many benefits to shopping local, here are 5 good reasons why shopping local should be important to you.
Small Business creates more jobs
Small business owners employ more residents to communities than national employers typically do. A small business may not stay small when the product or service grows with demand. Have you ever seen “Shark Tank”? There are many success stories of people who had small businesses that developed into larger ones, employing more and more people. Small businesses have created more than 65% of the new jobs since 1996. A report from MicroBiz indicated that from 2004-2010 small business with 1-4 employees created 5.5 million jobs and large businesses with more that 500 employees lost 1.8 million during the same time period.
Small Businesses have less environmental impact
Local small business tend to buy from local vendors eliminating the need for supplies to be trucked or flown in, thus eliminating the carbon footprint that national chains have when they are stocking their stores across the U.S. In the U.S., 16 million people work from home, further eliminating the need for ‘drive time’ which cuts down on carbon emissions.
Small business, more than their larger counterparts, know how important a good local reputation is. Referrals are one of the 3 top resources for small business to acquire new customers. Small business owners know that providing an excellent service and having customers refer others supports their small business in a very big way. Where national chains have big budgets for branded advertising that helps with promotion and lead generation, small businesses set themselves apart by doing things different and serving the needs and wants of local customers much better.
Believe it or not, but small business have the same vendors that national chains do. They can usually get in touch with vendors faster and order parts or supplies right away. Small businesses are more nimble in this respect, they can execute decisions quickly and you will usually have much better communication with a local small business!
When you spend your hard earned money with a small business, that business turns around and spends money in the community. Small businesses give back to their communities in terms of supporting local causes. They initiate partnerships between neighbors, other small business owners, schools and community based organizations.
Small business is like a Terrarium (self contained ecosystem popular in the 70’s). The network of small business in a community helps sustain the community and everything thrives as a result. People and events are connected and when we all shop and do business with local, small businesses, everyone benefits!