By now, pretty much everyone is familiar with Shop Small Saturday following Black Friday. American Express started the initiative back in 2010, and it became wildly successful across the country. It turns out that people are extremely supportive of local businesses. They enjoy feeling like they are making a difference with their purchases.
Since then, consumers as well as companies like UNATION, have rallied behind local businesses with an abundance of enthusiasm. We love the quirky shops, corner cafes, and artisan boutiques that make our communities unique!
Small businesses are the backbone of commerce in America, and we believe that whenever possible, we should be shopping small.
Shop Small For the Community
One of the most vital reasons to shop small is that the money you spend is returned to the community. To start with, the sales tax collected locally will be distributed back to the community. It will fund a variety of public services.
From park maintenance to mosquito control, your dollars are put to work. You have to pay taxes on most things anyway, why not pay them somewhere where you may reap the benefits?
When you shop at large chains, or with huge national brands, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever see that money put to work in a way that makes a difference in your community. Approximately $68 of every $100 spent locally will remain in the community.
Yes, a portion of that is given back as taxes as I just mentioned. In addition though, shop owners are typically very generous when someone needs help in their community.
It is much easier to get in touch with the owner of a neighborhood shop than it is to reach out to the CEO of a national brand.
For this reason, when someone needs a helping hand, they are likely to reach out locally first. Most of the time, the owner or manager is more than happy to contribute whenever they can.
Approximately 75% of small businesses make charitable donations throughout the year. You may see the name of the business on the backs of little league jerseys or announced as a sponsor for local fundraisers. Most small businesses pay it forward when they can.
Odds are, when you go on a vacation, you want to stop in the funky little shop on the corner instead of Urban Outfitters.
Why? Because you want something unique! You don’t want the same thing everyone else has, or the same thing you can grab at the mall back home. Local shops may carry some of the designers you are familiar with.
More than that though, many also carry small collections and limited lines from artisans and companies you haven’t heard of yet.
Local shops are the first to carry new products before they become household names. They are the ones giving chances to people with brilliant ideas just starting out.
They’re the ones helping their ideas grow into profitable companies. It may be a long way down the road, but small businesses are the reason for the variety we are familiar with when we go shopping.
Eat Local Too
Supporting local doesn’t just go for retail. Honestly, anytime I am out of town, one of the first things I lookup is the best local restaurants. I don’t want to travel all the way to a new city and go eat at Chili’s.
I’m after the best tacos in Tampa or the best restaurants for a date night in Atlanta. Odds are, there aren’t going to be many chain restaurants at the top of the lists.
Mom and pop restaurants are the ones that are going to have unique dishes that you can’t get anywhere else. They literally bring the flavor to their communities!
With the owners usually an integral part of daily operations, you can typically expect the same level of attention to detail and customer service we mentioned before.