Supporting small, supporting local

06 May 2021

As countries started recovering from the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve repeatedly been urged support our respective country’s local businesses to help push the economic wheel. Throughout the numerous lockdowns that were imposed, we got used to working online, video calling friends and we’ve also started doing our grocery shopping online too. If not, we carefully plan our shopping list to spend as little time as possible in the supermarket. Why have governments encouraged us to support the small and local businesses? Are there any advantages to using these businesses? In short, in lean and challenging times, the local and smaller businesses rely on your support to stay afloat – your transaction at their shop means a lot more than what it seems to be. So, the next time you’ve got to decide on whether to go big or small, go local and small, and here’s why.

-    It’s a circle

Local uses local. Such businesses are more likely to make use of other local businesses, including service providers, and farms. Moreover, the majority of the money spent in your local area will stay there – around $68 from the $100 spent will stay in the community. Revenue is recycled in the community itself, enriching the whole community in return! Supporting local businesses doesn’t mean shutting out the other big companies and resorting to only local! It’s all about a balance and not leaving local behind! 

-    It’s good for the environment

It may not be clear enough, but local businesses often have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies. In addition, education is key here, as if the community is well-educated about the environment and the current climate crisis, it’s more likely that the small and local businesses take actions towards being environmentally friendly than bigger companies. The money spent at these local firms could also be invested in helping the businesses installing renewable energy sources. 

-    It’s unique

Some of the bigger companies offer the same product – there’s not much diversity in what’s being offered. Items bought from local businesses tend to be more unique as local makers who bring their personal experiences, skills, and creativity to their products. Step away from the traditional and put a twist to it. If you’ve got a birthday coming up or you’re looking to buy a gift, consider getting something creative from a local business! 

-    Employment

Have you considered the amount of jobs that are being created thanks to the numerous small and local businesses? In America, 77 million people are employed by these small firms and account for 65% of all new jobs over the past 17 years. Furthermore, some suggest that local businesses offer better wages and benefits than business chains do. Therefore, shopping at local businesses isn’t only helpful towards the economy in one way. 

-    Survival

Chains are more likely to reach a wider audience so it’s up to us to ensure the survival of these smaller businesses. If we keep buying from bigger firms instead of the small ones, we will be making it more difficult for these local entrepreneurs to survive the competitive market. With the pandemic going on and several lockdowns imposed, these businesses encounter many problems.  Aided by government support schemes, a number of local firms survived – but it’s not enough. It’s up to us to help them get back to their feet and recover from the losses made in the previous months. Spread the word, share your shopping experience online and on your social media – let your friends know of these small, local businesses. You can also buy gift cards from such shops to help these firms!