Now that the holiday season is in full swing, much of the country is in a frenzy — swiping their credit cards left and right as they spend on gifts, holiday décor, festive food and of course a few personal treats. And, while the quest for the best deals can take consumers near and wide, experts have long advised that reserving a few coins for local businesses is a smart move for shoppers.
Here, we round up five reasons to keep some of your shopping local this year.
Boost Your Local Economy
Research has shown that very little of what is spent in the e-commerce realm as well as at big chain stores makes its way back to local communities. In addition to tax dollars, keeping neighborhoods — including schools, libraries, parks and recreation centers — in tip-top shape is reliant on a robust local economy, nourished by the willingness of residents to keep some of their income local. Not to mention, investing in local businesses is an effective way to increase the wealth of residents, which can have a multiplier effect. And, a strip of quirky, sought-after local businesses can give a decent boost to the property values in your neighborhood.
Save the Environment
When goods have to travel a lesser distance in order to make their way into your home, it lessens the demand on roads, sewers, safety services and other facets of the environmental industry. Also, when you’re shopping and dining local, you may be able to decrease your environmental footprint by walking or cycling to a nearby business.
Find Unique Experiences & Niche Products
Smaller, niche brands are the most sought after these days. And, many small footwear, apparel and accessories businesses are known to serve up an array of exclusive finds. Also, a stressful visit to a big box store can leave you in need of some extra pampering this holiday season and lots of sit-and-fit retailers offer a relaxing environment with special touches to help you take a load off. What’s more, seasoned storeowners can provide a high level of expertise when you’re searching for unusual or techy products.
Help Create Jobs
When a local business has a steady flow of high traffic, the need to hire and retain workers becomes a major priority. Essentially, helping a local boutique or bakery rake in the dollars, is a step towards boosting the employment rate in your area.
Strengthen Your Community
A community comprised of residents who support one another is likely to be safer and happier overall. Since local businesses are owned and often staffed by locals, community relations stand to benefit when residents take a vested interest in the success of their local stores and business owner feel compelled to reciprocate by supporting local charities and sports programs.