I’m sure you’ve seen the bumper stickers and heard the phrase “shop local.” It’s a whole movement centered on a single idea: shop local to support your local economy.
There’s a whole list of cause and effect reasons why it’s beneficial to shop this way, but here are some of the most compelling ones:
- For every $100 spent locally, $68 stays in the community. If you were to spend the same amount at a national retailer, only $43 goes back. And for purchases made online, nothing goes back to your local community (source).
- Shopping local makes less impact on the environment. Locally owned business also tend to buy more locally available product, reducing the amount of transportation in general, from shipping goods to customers driving to make purchases. Even just a 10% shift of produce from national to local would save 310,000 gallons of fuel annually (source).
- Small business employee half of the American workforce (source). By supporting local businesses, we are actually supporting one of the best ways to create jobs for America.
- More community investment. It’s commonly reported that small business owners donate more to local charities than their national chain competitors do.
- Overall? If American citizens only did 10% more shopping local instead of at national chains, it would put $235 million a year back into local economies (source).
With such strong benefits, it’s easy to see why the “Shop Local” movement has gained so much momentum. But beyond doing our grocery shopping at a farmer’s market or buying school supplies from a local boutique, what if we extended the idea to who we choose to partner with in business?
Yes, it’s been a tough economy to be an entrepreneur in. Things haven’t been easy, and it still remains to be seen whether we’re really out of the woods yet. But one thing that is still true is that we’re in this together. Using a “shop local” mentality as a business owner goes beyond a simple networking strategy. Yes, you’ll probably build some quality business connections and yes, that will probably generate more leads and sales for you. But most importantly, a “shop local” attitude is about supporting each other in our efforts to build sustainable, strong businesses.
As you continue building your business, choose to make it habit to partner with other local businesses. Working with each other as a team to build a strong local economy will help create a brighter future for all of us.