What if I told you that you can help the community with one simple thought before making a purchasing decision? This decision has the power to greatly affect our community, and the effects of which shows how well or poor local businesses are faring.
For every one hundred dollars you spend at a national chain, the community only sees $43 in return. When you spend that same amount at a local business, $68 turns back around. When small businesses are supported, which means the community becomes a customer, we all benefit. You’re not adding to the wealth of an already wealthy corporation. With a local small business, you’re helping parents send their daughter to ballet lessons. No need to boycott Big Box stores, however. All that’s required is a simple change of mind to think local first to improve the quality of our community.
Here’s how you as a customer benefit from thinking local first:
Small local businesses need a competitive edge and can’t afford to do their customers wrong. Most small businesses rely on satisfied customers repeating their business and also referring their family and friends to use them. Customer referrals are priceless, and tell business owners that they’re doing it right.
In today’s world of social media, businesses rely heavily on having a positive presence. More than ever, customers are able to openly communicate with their friends and even the company itself about how pleased or unhappy they are with a product or business. Small businesses use this to their advantage by increasing their customer service by making sure that they have a positive experience.
For instance, let’s say I need a gift for a friend. I’ve budgeted how much I can spend on the present. I can either go to a store and pick up a generic gift card, and hope she buys herself something she wants. Or, I can go to a mom and pop store in downtown where they’ll help me pick out a unique
and quality gift. Then, they’ll prepare it for the party by placing it in a bag with tissue paper. I’m still only spending the amount of money I budgeted, plus I get to walk into that party like a rock star all while having helped the business owners and the community.
How the community benefits:
Studies show that small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to non-profits and community causes. This is a good reminder of the long term effects of using local businesses. Think about the kids, homeless, elderly, and families less fortunate that are reached with those increased funds.
You can have a meaningful connection to your community by:
Changing your mindset to think local first. Find out if there are locally owned businesses that cater to your needs and hobbies. Shift 10 percent of spending from national chains.
Volunteer with organizations that keep their money here and helps people in your community. Deliver meals to homebound individuals. You don’t necessarily need to join or start an organization to volunteer. You can teach someone how to read or get a job, collect toiletries for the homeless, or simply participate in school fundraisers.
Have a sense of ownership by sharing the positive aspects of your community with others. If your town is unique, celebrate that!