Why Your Next Purchase Should Be From a Small Business

Small business owner smiling while turning the sign for the reopening of the place after the quarantine due to covid-19.
Ridofranz / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Though shopping locally is something many people mean to do,  convenience often wins out in today’s busy world. So we end up going to big box stores, or clicking same-day delivery on Amazon.


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That convenience is so important that 80 percent of shoppers surveyed want same-day shipping, while 61 percent want their packages even faster–within 1-3 hours of placing an order

The impact of shopping local goes far beyond feeling good about ourselves. It helps enrich the local economy and cut down on global waste. Of course there are instances where you’ll have to order something from a corporate seller, but choosing to buy local most of the time can have a massive ripple effect of positivity on the community.

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Money From Purchases Goes Back Into Your City’s Pocket

When you buy something from a vendor in your area, you’re building a future for the neighborhood. For every $100 you spend at a local business, nearly half goes back into the community and its tax base. Compare that with when you spend $100 at a chain store, less than 15 percent is recirculated. You’re not only injecting money into your local economy, you’re ensuring that members of your community are employed and that more jobs can be created to keep the people around you working. In fact, 64 percent of new private-sector jobs exist because of small businesses. Plus, local businesses are more likely to donate to local charities, helping to lift up those who need help. Opting to make a purchase at a small business near you versus a big name retailer helps keep the local economy healthy and increases the quality of life for your neighbors. 

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Small businesses also require less public infrastructure, which means you pay less in taxes for them to exist than a large retailer to set up shop. Infrastructure costs for a local organization come down to a business license and securing a space, but when a corporation comes to a city, there are zoning requirements, city planning discussions and other resources that are soaked up, costing the average American more in taxes to support these businesses. 

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You’re Supporting Sustainability 

Many small businesses obtain their working materials from other local retailers, cutting down on packaging, waste, and shipping. Additionally, when you shop from a local business, you’re helping to reduce travel emissions from planes and trains that are involved with bigger stores’ shipping practices and creating less of a carbon footprint. This is especially true with local grocery stores, which often sell items grown in the community, giving your next meal a fresher farm-to-table experience than shopping at a corporate grocery store. Buying from a locally-run produce seller also helps keep nearby farmers working. In the past, developers for bigger companies have bought the land and destroyed the plant and wildlife that’s thriving there, but keeping farmers in business prevents these types of situations from happening.

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You’re Coming Away With a Unique Experience

Local businesses offer craftsmanship and care that can’t be found anywhere else. If you’re looking for a unique gift, you can always find a one-of-a-kind item when you shop locally. In certain stores, you might be able to connect with a local artist directly, and commission an item to make it more personal for the recipient.

A dining experience at a local restaurant may open your eyes up to a new cuisine, with the ability to get insight from the owners and chefs themselves.  Plus, you’re buying these items from people who live and work in your community, who are dedicating their lives to their business. This means you won’t be dealing with a customer service agent thousands of miles from the store, but with someone who knows and deeply cares about the business and your experience with it. 

These local businesses are also helping to diversify the community as a whole and imbue it with an identity that makes it more attractive not only to its residents, but for visitors as well. The more tourists that are brought in, the more money there is for the city to flourish.

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Last updated: Oct. 12, 2021

About the Author

Sam DiSalvo is an LA-based comedian, writer and actor who's performed all over the country. Her written work has appeared in numerous digital publications. As a copywriter, she's worked with a variety of major brands including GoldieBlox and Thrive Causemetics. Sam loves dogs and is currently perusing leisure suits to buy for her corgi mix, Barry

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