How supporting local businesses impacts larger businesses
1. You invest in your community rather than a big corporation.
Studies show that small retailers selling to consumers or other businesses results in community reinvestment, job creation and giving back. Imagine the boost that could occur if small business owners across all categories made their commercial purchases – from paper supplies to booking travel to scheduling IT services – locally.
According to SCORE, for every $1 spent at a local small business, 67 cents stays in the local community, with 23 cents of that getting reinvested into other local businesses and the rest going to wages and benefits. An Intuit study found that 57% of Americans say their main reason for shopping small is to keep money local.
Large businesses could start to see the negative impacts of this on their own business. “This movement could push large-scale businesses to collaborate with, invest in, or mentor the smaller ones and help them increase their market share, which would increase the appeal of large businesses and help small businesses as well,” Gkarmini said.
2. Small businesses stand out from the crowd by featuring small batch pieces.
Beyond the economic benefit, small business owners must stand out from the crowd to better serve their customers. Statistics show consumers are willing to support them if they do. In other words, consumers want small businesses to do things differently from the big-box stores. They not only recognize the disparity between small businesses and national chains, but also appreciate the qualities that make small businesses unique.
If small business owners use national-chain suppliers for all their commercial needs, they risk losing some of the qualities that make their businesses distinctive. Instead, small businesses should keep their inventories unique and their business practices special by doing things the local way. Little things like free gift-wrapping for significant holidays, complimentary bottled water on hot days or hot cocoa when it’s cold, and customer-driven charitable donations can make all the difference.
3. You help make supporting local businesses, not big-box stores, the standard.
Of course, practicing what you preach is all about setting the right example. Imagine what customers might think if they chose to visit your business rather than ordering what they need online, and then while in your store, they see an Amazon shipment arriving. That doesn’t encourage them to continue buying locally.
Customers value small businesses for their connection to the local community. Set a good example for customers by recommending and promoting the other local businesses you have worked with or enjoy frequenting. That way, customers know your business is doing its part to support the community.
4. The more small businesses, the better.
Finally, owners should shift their business expenses locally because small businesses are stronger when they work together. You can connect with nearby businesses and leaders through Main Street organizations and “buy local” campaigns.