“Buy local” is a feel-good slogan that you have no doubt heard circulating regularly on the topic of bolstering the economy, but the reality of buying local is so much more than just a trendy advertising campaign.
When we buy from locally-owned businesses, we support our communities more than we think. As consumers, when we spend money, we vote with our dollars. Demand for products and services necessitate the creation of supply and jobs — so every day, our choices as an individual have a ripple effect in our communities that stretch from the local economy to a larger, national or even global scale.
Cost, convenience, and selection are all driving factors when we make these decisions. While convenience has become a top priority in our purchasing habits with the readily available click of a button, there is more to making a purchase than that, and there are important and far-reaching benefits when we decide to spend locally.
Why Should We Shop Local?
How the local economy operates can improve the well-being of everyone in the community. Local businesses are often utilizing services of other businesses in the area, which leads to a knock-on effect of more community members benefitting with each dollar spent. Locally-owned businesses recirculate a bigger percentage of revenue they receive compared to larger corporations or franchise businesses that are headquartered elsewhere. More money retained locally means a fighting chance at better living standards in a few different ways:
By choosing to buy locally, employment tends to be considerably more stable for small businesses, creating more opportunities for local residents to work. With small businesses employing 47% of US employees, shopping at one business that relies on surrounding businesses causes a demand for hiring in various local industries. Small businesses tend to retain their employees longer, due to more solid relationships within the community and cultivating a sense of city pride. Rapport between local businesses and consumers creates a better experience on both sides of the table, as both sides are valued as individuals, rather than just a statistic.
Reduces Environmental Impact
While having things shipped to your door is convenient, we tend to forget the environmental impact of excessive emissions associated with large-scale, never-ending logistics.
Buying locally reduces processing, packaging, and transportation waste, all leading to less pollution. When smaller local businesses pop up, it’s generally in a town or village area which allows for better walkability and closer access to consumers’ homes. Local businesses that purchase from other businesses in their area also help the environment with less commercial traffic and congestion, which means reduced potential fuel emissions that contribute to air pollution in our communities and across the globe.
Likewise, locally sourced materials produce less waste by cutting out unnecessary travel and delivery, and reduce the amount of packaging used. Buying locally can improve the future of our Earth’s health, as well as that of our own communities.
Money being spent locally circulates money within the community, which means more jobs, better salaries, and building the local tax base.
Money spent locally means wages and benefits are paid to local residents, profits are earned by local owners, purchases each business makes of local goods can be used internally or for resale, and contributions are given to nearby organizations rather than corporations based in other places.
Non-locally owned businesses do not have the same economic impact for a community, as they don’t help disperse wages, donations, taxes that fund city services, and typically don’t support or purchase from other small businesses in the area or transport their goods from local businesses.
Community Investment and Charity
Locally owned businesses often contribute to local charities and fundraisers much more than their national competitors. These local businesses help support non-profits, colleges and schools, and community groups by volunteer work and donations.
Locally-owned business owners are more likely to consider their impact on a community instead of only focusing on profit, and by investing in their community, they help create a culture of charitable giving and impart more unique value to their area. More local businesses means more revenue, to create thriving and resilient communities, giving a better quality of life for all who take part.
Guides Innovation and Builds Unique Culture
When a community supports it’s local businesses, it encourages new entrepreneurs to decide to pursue their own new businesses or help nurture existing ones. Expanding and strengthening a community that cares about supporting its local businesses allows for new, unique businesses to flourish, while also retaining professionals who are less likely to leave because they live within the community, and are more invested in the future of the area. Unique businesses help give distinctive character to local marketplaces, while an influx of national chain retailers can distract from a community’s identity and take away from the feeling of originality in the community.
Better Customer Experiences
Shopping with locally owned businesses has a much greater impact than spending money at chains or online retailers or services. Local businesses have the opportunity to interact more intimately with consumers and are able to give better and more personalized customer service at the community level. These businesses become pillars of the community, with owners and employees who know the marketplace behind them. Consumers are usually willing to pay more for great service, and customer loyalty is solidified by shoppers and clients feeling that their money is well spent in supporting a local business they respect.
Central Pennsylvania Local Interior Designers
T2B is committed to creating exceptional workplaces that help Central PA organizations meet business objectives through quality design, furniture, flooring, and window treatments. From concept to completion and beyond, we promise to deliver on time, on budget, and on-brand for our communities.
T2B Commercial Interiors listens carefully to understand your organization’s future goals, brand personality, and unique culture. Clients value our hands-on involvement and rapid responsiveness from start to finish.
With a broad range of knowledge and experience, our designers can help maximize the efficiency of your space, boost employee engagement, inspire creativity, improve safety, and more.
Our designers work with state-of-the-art software and provide you with CET design and renderings to help you understand the design vision and provide valuable input early in the process. Big budget or small; new space or renovated space; office, school, hospital, or retail, we have designers with the right experience to meet your needs.
Whether you need new flooring, furniture, or even just some new window treatments for your hard-working employees and valued clients, contact us today to learn how our designers can meet your needs.