Let me ask you a question? Do you think about where you shop and what your dollars support? Most people don’t. Most of the time it’s easier to run to the nearest big box store, grab what you need and get home.
But many of us have heard how much spending locally can help the local economy in big big ways. Small businesses are job creators, and economy simulators. When you spend money locally that money supports your friend and neighbors and then they have money to spend locally as well. Some studies show that every dollar spent at a local businesses up to 3.5 times as much wealth is generated in the local economy compared with the dollar for dollar wealth generation when money is spent at chains.
For you as a consumer there are huge benefits. For the most part local businesses want to make you happy, they care about their reputation and word of mouth advertising. You can pretty much always expect better customer service and attention when dealing with a smaller business. You aren’t just a number, a replaceable customer in a long line. You are their neighbor and someone who’s opinion they value.
Let’s be real though. If you are running errands with 3 kids in tow it’s so much easier to run into Walmart and grab what you need.
A little thinking outside the box can help though, there is more to local businesses then just shopping. Forget clothes and toiletries, you can spend your money with small businesses in a variety of ways that won’t disrupt your errand running.
#1- Services– Looking for a lawn service? Maybe you want bottled water delivered? How about tutoring for your child? Need home improvement or an exterminator? Before you dial the first large corporation’s 1-800 that you find online check to see what you can find locally. There is likely a small company in your town that provides the service you’re looking for.
#2- Car Repairs & maintainance– Before you take your car to the local Walmart to get tires or an oil change call your local independent mechanic. You may be surprised at how competitive their pricing is. If you car needs repaired take it to a local shop. You’ll likely find a mechanic who wants to help you, who wants to make sure you’re happy and who isn’t looking to up sell you services and parts you don’t need. You’ll most likely feel less pressured by your local mom and pop shop then you will with a chain. If you’re local mechanic is ASE certified they are qualified to work on your vehicle!
#3- Family portraits Looking to get Christmas pictures done? Maybe a portrait with your puppy? Yes you could head to your local Sears Portrait Studio or Olan Mills but you could also call a local portrait studio and see what they have to offer. Many times they can take pictures in a variety of settings and really capture your family in a great setting instead of in front of a back drop. Don’t be surprised when they offer great packages and are able t do exactly what you want .
#4- Food– There are so many ways that you can support local businesses when it comes to food. Eating out? Skip the chain and go to a local restaurant. Need a cake or cupcakes? Check at a local bakery. Farmer’s Markets, local butchers, small coffee shops… the list goes on and on.
#5- Banking– You may never have thought about banks as local businesses but there are a lot of hometown banks that are just as able to serve you as bigger banking business. Many local banks offer extras too like Christmas Savings accounts, special programs for kids and so much more. If you need a loan you’ll work one on one with a person instead of any customer service rep you get.
All it takes is a little thought and creativity to spend your dollars with your local business. The next time you spend your money, just a little extra thought can result in a better experience for you and massive benefit to your local economy!
Take the 5 day self care challenge!!
Get the challenge delivered straight to your inbox & find time to take care of yourself!