In a world that grows more and more homogenized and corporate by the day, the importance of supporting local businesses over national (and international) chains cannot be stressed enough. Unfortunately, many people do not support their local businesses, either because they do not understand the benefits of doing so or because using chains is simply that much more convenient. Here are some critical facts to help you see exactly why you should give preferential treatment to local businesses:
Increased Variety and Diversity
Firstly, local businesses have the ability to be much more varied and diverse than large-scale commercial ventures with dozens or hundreds of storefronts. When a large store opens up in town and eats up the revenue of its competitors, those competitors will tend to close down over time. This eliminates the diversity and variety that those smaller stores brought to the table simply because they could not compete with the lower prices of the bigger chain store. This isn’t too problematic when you just look at the products that are carried by both the chain store and the local stores, but there are many products that are carried exclusively by local stores. From local brands to more specialized varieties of certain products, the closure of those local stores can reduce your options when it comes to shopping and service.
More Relevant Business Decisions
By supporting local businesses over businesses that aren’t headquartered in your area, you are increasing the likelihood that business decisions will be made with your community in mind. Since those local businesses cater almost exclusively to your community, they need to make their decisions with your needs and interests in mind. When it comes to national chains, their business decisions might be made to maximize profits and protect interests in other areas, meaning that you will end up seeing all of the drawbacks and none of the benefits.
Keeping Money in the Community
Another big advantage of supporting local businesses is that money will tend to stay in the community, whereas money given to national chains will likely be taken out of the community. The more money that is circulating within your community, the more purchasing power that people will generally have. This ultimately means that your community will generally grow poorer if you give your money to national chains that transfer those profits out of your community.
Increasing the Local Job Pool
In addition to keeping money in the community, supporting local businesses also means that there will tend to be more job opportunities in your area. While large corporations might bring in managers and workers from outside your community, local businesses will generally hire and cultivate talent within your own community. Furthermore, having a diverse array of local businesses means that there are more options when it comes to looking for a job. Instead of being forced to work at the single giant store if you are looking for a retail job in your area, a healthy local business community means that you can choose from a wide variety of different options.
This can become particularly applicable if you consider what would happen if your relationship with management at your place of employment soured. If there are a lot of healthy businesses in your area, then you could simply apply to one of the many other businesses. On the other hand, if you only have one giant store in your area, then you really don’t have any options that would allow you to avoid that problematic relationship.
Christopher S. is an avid blogger from Tulsa, Oklahoma who is passionate about encouraging safety in the Tulsa community while working with the Gorospe & Smith Tulsa Personal Injury Lawyer Firm.