This study showed that for every $100 you spend at a local small business, $43 goes directly back into the community. When you give your business to a big box store, only $13 returns to your community.
If all a community wants is low prices you will find a community with big box stores, lower wages and less money redistribution. The small business spends money in the community for more things. They don’t have oversees suppliers and low wage factories workers. They pay local employees, hire local professionals, lawyers, book keepers, designers etc. They buy local equipment and inventory supplies. Local businesses recirculate the money back into the community. And the business owners themselves as well as their employees spend the money they make in the local economy.
As jobs continue to disappear quickly. Unemployment precedes poverty. Not only does it cost more to be poor, neighbourhoods start to decline as as people have no money to maintain their homes. Crime rates increase. So do our local taxes as they increase to pay for more law enforcement and social services.
Small business owners are usually sharing their unique passion with the world and it’s worth supporting. Because in order to turn this around we need to first change what we value as a community. A business can only supply what is in demand and the demand creates the type of community we want to live in.
Maybe it’s eating less food to eat better food. Maybe it’s not buying something because it’s cheap but rather because it’s meaningful or longer lasting. Whether it’s locally grown food, a mom-and-pop restaurant, a handmade clothing store or yoga studio shopping local matters a lot. It may not be as cheap but it’s sure to be more special.