Buy Local – Support Local Businesses
6 Ways that YOU Benefit From Buying Local!
Ok, I cheated a bit on this one. Entrepreneur, the magazine, had this great article about how when you BUY LOCAL you not only support local businesses, but your doing yourself a favor too. This really struck home with me. I did put it into my own words with all my feelings, but the gist is the same!
Today in Part I, I am going to focus on benefits to your community.
In Part II, I’ll elaborate more on the economic benefits to your community to BUY LOCAL!
As a small business owner, I’ve come to rely heavily on other local businesses. Yes, I still shop at Walmart and Lowes, but I don’t have relationships with those stores. Customer service is often lacking, or even nonexistent (think Walmart…). And when you buy online? You never meet the folks you’re buying from. There is no face to remember.
I’ve had some great local buying experiences here in Halifax County, Virgnia:
The local lawn and garden store has a record of which lawn mower I purchased and can find the part I need to service or repair it myself. The owner even remembers my name every time!
Our local hardware store, Yancey Wholesale Supply, remembers exactly which pipe I purchased last time and knows which fittings I need for my project, and if they are not entirely sure, they walk me through all the parts they have until we’ve got it.
The local farm supply, Abbott’s Farm Suppliers, is full of great (and free!) advice. I spend lots of money there…
I have to mention the local restaurants: Molasses Grill (my personal date night favorite), Southern Plenty, Bistro 1888, and Packhouse Cafe. They are all great, no fast food to be found! They care about their customers and each has it’s own flavor and unique atmosphere. They make our county memorable! Not to mention that every one of them is housed in a historic building which helps keep our two major towns of Halifax and South Boston looking great.
There’s also the Blue Ribbon Market, owned by local farmers and selling locally produced foods.
The owners and employees of these restaurants and shops usually know my name, I have relationships with them! It is a pleasure to enter into their shops, I am a part of my community when I do.
Here is the list of reasons YOU should BUY LOCAL too!
1 – Health benefits. When you shop with local farmers (I gotta start with the farmers, you know!) you have the opportunity to choose fruits and vegetables that are grown without chemicals, and of course grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, nonGMO, and more! We mustn’t forget local raw honeys, consumption of which can greatly reduce allergy symptoms.
BEST of ALL, you have the opportunity to go out to the farm and see for yourself EXACTLY how your food was grown.
2 – Economics. For every $100 that you spend with local businesses, $68 remains in the community as opposed to only $43 spent at chain retailers.
Local businesses tend to support each other, keeping more of your money local, whereas chain retailers get supplies from corporate and need to pay salaries of other employees at corporate.
3 – Relationship. When you buy from local businesses you develop a connection.
It’s something to celebrate when local businesses succeed and a sad occasion when one closes.
4 – Local Flavor. Communities get a lot of their local “flavor,” pun intended, from local businesses. Think about it. Walmart, Food Lion, Lowes, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and more – don’t add to the local atmosphere.
Local restaurants, cafes, farm supply stores, hardware stores, antique shops, clothing boutiques and many others make your town what it is, one of a kind. You preserve your community when you support them.
5 – Customer Service. I’m not sure I need to even speak for this one! Automated phone calls, 800 numbers, harried cashiers, managers that can’t be found, staff that just doesn’t care, etc.
Local businesses are there for you. Customer service is what they do!
6 – Personalized Service. The business owner knows every employee in the shop and he/she will work with you until you find what you need. They take time to get to know you.
They special order what you need if they have to. And if they can’t find what you need, they know where to find it locally and will direct you to it.
This doesn’t apply just to products but to services as well. You need only ask!
Support Local Businesses whenever you can – YOUR community reaps the benefits every time.