Everyone in a community plays a part in keeping that community healthy. One very important way we can do this is to support local businesses. The economic health of a community affects the physical and mental health of that community as well. Michigan State University conducted a study on why shopping local matters. Most of their findings are just common sense. Some are shocking and go against what advertisers tell us daily. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to spend your money with local businesses:
1. Small businesses are still the largest employers in our country. When an employee works for a small business, customer service is better, and their sense of community is stronger. And a vibrant local economy means even more jobs created from small businesses.
2. Keeping our money local means that that money stays to improve our tax base, our local services, and overall circulation of money in our community. This helps schools, social services, roads, and anything that our tax dollars depend on. It’s a fact that more money spent with a local business will stay in that local economy more than the same amount of money spent at a national chain store that is located in that community.
3. Locally owned businesses contribute more to local charities. We give back consistently and more per dollar of revenue than any box store. We buy wrapping paper and oranges, we contribute to civic organizations, we buy ads so your kids can have football programs and yearbooks. We care where the money goes and who it helps. Our hearts are in it.
4. Local businesses define the community’s image and keep it unique. According to the MSU study, “Spending money with local retailers helps keep the local community alive.” We make up the town’s character and keep it from being just line any other town in America. We create pride in our town and what it has to offer.
5. We attract entrepreneurs and younger people to the area. As we’ve seen in other areas that have thriving economies, “Local economic growth will attract new talent and professionals, who may, in turn, create businesses of their own, enhancing a local economy.” When we bring in young professionals, most of whom are college graduates, the community expands with people who are invested in seeing the community thrive for themselves and for their children.
Every dollar you spend with a locally owned business is a vote for a stronger and healthier Greenville.