We are familiar with supporting small businesses, and each year around this time, we are all encouraged by our community to shop local. But why? Do we truly know the positive impact supporting local has on our community?

This year more than ever, communities around the nation proved to local businesses that they value their products, services, and most importantly, their presence in the community. More than half of consumers (53%) would prefer to shop locally during COVID, according to a survey by ZypMedia.

While people value local businesses, the truth is, the economy is still recovering from the economic downturn that the pandemic provoked. As a result, local businesses need our help more than ever.

How local businesses add value to our communities

1 CONTRIBUTE TO THE ECONOMY

Since 1995, small businesses are estimated to have created 64% of new jobs! These new jobs are a part of the local economic cycle and help communities to grow and thrive. For example, supporting local businesses pays local taxes, pays other local services in the community, and benefits local suppliers.

When one local business is created, the community and other businesses benefit. For example, a new local restaurant will hire community members. Other impacts include employing a local accountant to keep the books, a local food supplier, and hiring a local print design company to create their physical brand. Local workers spend their money in town, and local companies put money back into their businesses to keep the cycle going.

2 Drive COMMUNITY CULTURE

A community culture that has a unique identity and supportive members is significant and beneficial. Not only does this encourage community support, but it also attracts tourism. With a unique vibe, visitors have a reason to explore and experience something new. Think about your favorite tourist destination. More than likely, it has a main street lined with a plethora of unique shops and an atmosphere that leaves a lasting impression. Small businesses are credited with producing a culture within a community that encourages others to come and stay a while!

Small businesses also show a kind of support for the community that is not typical of larger corporations. Whether it is volunteer work or sponsoring and participating in community events, attending a charity event, or donating to a homeless shelter, small business owners’ time and money are directly put back into the community. This is because owners take pride in their community and see the mutual benefit in putting the community first.

3 Spark INNOVATION

Small business owners are humble entrepreneurs, connected to the community, setting out to solve a problem. As they dream up a product or service built for a community’s positive impact, they create a local business to solve that problem.

Small business development centers and small loans for entrepreneurs are becoming more popular in many communities. It is no secret that creative, business-focused individuals are beneficial to the local economy and community.

HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS

Buy gift cards – Gift cards are a great way to pay it forward and allow a small business to keep their cash flow moving. Plus, they make great gifts for the holidays!

Continue paying services – Services such as gym memberships and hair salons include local businesses that keep the community economy healthy. If possible, keep supporting the services you need and value.

Review and share – Give your favorite businesses a shout-out on social or leave a five-star Google review. In a supportive community, word of mouth goes a long way for small businesses.

Get takeout – Local businesses have worked hard this year to adapt to the new norm of offering takeout to keep their business up. From curbside to food delivery services, supporting local can be delicious.

Shop locally – This may seem like a no-brainer; however, start thinking about all the products you can source locally that you use in your daily life. You will be surprised what products your own community can supply you.

Are you shopping this holiday season locally? While buying local products from the stores that give your community its identity, you are also supporting your local community and innovation!

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