Use It or Lose It
In recent years, a movement has been slowly happening. Impersonal, big-box retailers are destroying the small, local business. It’s more important now, than ever to do business in your very own city. Support the local farmer, craftsmen, antique dealer, and other product providers where items are made locally and/or sold on a small scale.
When a consumer supports his/her local business owners, they enjoys benefits that can’t possibly come from shopping at a national chain. Here are some of my top reasons to support your local entrepreneurs.
1. Shopping local can improve your family’s health. Buying local foods has numerous health benefits to your family. When you buy from local farmers, you have access to fruits and vegetables that you know are chemical free, as well as grass-fed meats, fresh eggs, and dairy from cows that feast on local green grass each day. There are also benefits to eating raw local honeys, which are thought to help battle allergies. One of my favorite local honey dealers is the Tulsa Urban Bee Company. I personally use their products and love them!
2. Shopping local, improves the local economy. When a consumer buys local, significantly more of that money stays in the community. In fact, one study found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the city while only $43 of each $100 spent at a chain retailer.
Local business owners often have incentive to support other local businesses (both from a business and personal standpoint). Chain businesses, on the other hand, tend to get their supplies from larger, corporate companies. Yes, those companies employee store managers and staff, but they aren’t as personally invested in buying local since it doesn’t directly impact them.
3. When you buy local, you get to know the people behind the product. When you personally know the people behind the busines where you’re buying local products and services, you enjoy a connection you would not otherwise have. Along with the rest of the community, you celebrate when a favorite local business succeeds and you mourn when it’s forced to shut its doors. This personal investment isn’t quite as present when a chain business closes, aside from feeling the disappointment that you have fewer businesses within a convenient driving distance.
4. Buying local, helps keep your community unique. Local businesses give a community its flavor. How often do you hear someone say that Utica Square has lost its personal touch that it had 5-10 years ago. That’s because the chain restaurants and stores currently occupying Utica Square can be found across any city in America. The combined presence of your town’s many local businesses makes it different from every other city in the world. Drive a little further to shop at that small boutique down the street where you will always have a personalized, one-of-a-kind shopping experience. By supporting those businesses instead of chains, you ensure that uniqueness is preserved as a part of your community.
5. When you shop small, you’ll get better customer service. If you’ve ever dealt with a large corporation, you know getting help can be a nightmare. You’ll call a 1-800 number, only to be transferred seven times and then put on hold. Even when you speak to a customer service representative, that person is so far removed from the decision-making process, there’s little to no concern that the company will lose you as a customer. When you shop local, the business owner is usually directly connected to every employee in the store. That leads to a personal approach that often means any problem you have is taken seriously.
6. When you shop local, you’ll always have A more personalized experience. We will always remember dressing your daughter for graduation, helping you pick out the perfect Mother’s Day gift or finding that special outfit for your anniversary dinner. The owner personally knows his/her customers (by name). They know the products you buy or the services you request on a regular basis and can tailor services to make your experience even better. If you have a special clothing request, we will always look for that item at market or with our current manufactures to fulfill you need.
Buying local has benefits beyond mere convenience. When you support local business owners, you get a better level of service, as well as helping make your community a better place to live. This is in addition to the health benefits and access to unique products that you usually can’t find with chain locations.
Please support POSH and any other local businesses. It’s not easy being a retail store in the world of online shopping. It’s a sad fact, but if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.