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Shop Local … the DETAILS


Shop Local

submitted by Sharon Lewis, 2/6/18

We hear a lot about supporting local businesses in November during the national Shop Local campaign but our awareness, as consumers and business owners, shouldn’t end then.
As consumers, we need to be aware of the impact that our buying decisions can have on the local economy. While shopping local is not always the easiest option- get dressed?! -leave the house?!- it is often the right thing to do. There’s the argument that if I save money by buying online I’ll have more money to spend locally but there’s more to it than that. Let’s look at some of the numbers from several sources:
• For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community and will get re-spent there. With a national chain only $43 stays in the community. Buying online? It’s even less. Also when you buy locally, your sales tax dollars are reinvested where they belong— in your community!
• Small local businesses are the largest employers nationally and create 2 out of every 3 new jobs.
• Studies have shown that local businesses donate more to local charities and fundraisers than do national businesses.
• Buying locally cuts down on the processing, packaging and transportation waste that is contributing to pollution. (Amazon has a packaging feedback option if you’re [guilty] like me and shocked by the little things that come in big packages).
• Independent businesses make the community unique.
• A diverse marketplace of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation, low prices and more choices over the long term.
Local business owners have as much, if not more, responsibility for raising awareness about the Shop Local movement and what it means for our communities. If you are a business owner there are a few things you can do today (don’t wait until November 24th 2018):
• Speak up: Look for opportunities to speak to schools and organizations, or write for your local paper, to tell your story and to communicate the numbers mentioned above.
• Collaborate in your advertising: Work with other local business owners to generate enthusiasm for your local area. Check out the “Keep Austin Weird” campaign or Chester’s version of Hygge.
• Recognize: Acknowledge other small business owners. Riggio’s in Essex has been doing a campaign to thank other small businesses by delivering flowers to them as a surprise. Start or participate in a “best of” contest. There’s one going on now with The Day.
• Reward: Start a loyalty program for your customers or your town.
• Entertain: Create events to draw customers to your area or shop. Customer experience is what can set local businesses apart from online retailers.
When you’re about to make a buying decision, consider the impact that you can have on your community.
* Sharon K. Lewis of AdviCoach (Ivoryton) helps business owners take an objective look at their business and identify actions to achieve their vision for the business. Check out the AdviCoach website HERE.