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Shopping Local Pays Off for Your Community

by Tabatha Duvall - November 29, 2022

Some big gift-giving holidays are coming up quickly, which means we are officially in holiday shopping season. December is typically one of the largest months for retailers, big and small, and post pandemic 46% of people are starting their holiday shopping even earlier than before. (National Retail Federation)

Shopping local is becoming increasingly important. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 43% of small business temporarily closed, 39% reduced the number of active employees, and 70% took advantage of aid, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In 2022, 44% of small business still report moderate negative effects from the pandemic and 33% report large lasting negative effects. (Small Business Credit Survey)

To the benefit of communities, shopping local is becoming more popular. Studies show during and after the acute state of the pandemic, more people chose to shop in locally owned stores. According to a 2021 QuickBooks survey, 93% of people agreed that shopping in local businesses was even more important than it was before the pandemic.

Looking at profitability, 65.3% of small businesses in the United States are currently profitable (Guidant Financial), and when surveyed about how they felt about the coming years, The Optimism index was 99.7. (July 2021, NFIB Small Business Economic Trends)

What are the benefits of shopping local?

The benefits of shopping local are plentiful, but it all starts with the fact more money spent at locally owned businesses in your community stays within your community.

A Civic Economics study from 2008 shows that 68 cents on each dollar spent in locally owned businesses stays local, while only 43 cents of each dollar spent at big box stores will. That money is reinvested into the community as salaries that go individuals who work in or own the business, payments to other local businesses and service providers (janitorial, building maintenance, suppliers, etc.) and local taxes. Local taxes go back to schools, parks, streets, and so many more quality-of-life factors.

On a personal level, local business owners are also members of your community. They are your city counselors, your pastors, your Rotary presidents, and your little league sponsors. They care about your community and they are thoughtfully investing their time and money into it.

Small Business Saturday may have already come and gone, but it’s not too late to start shopping at local businesses.

If you’re not sure where to start, visit your local chamber of commerce or Main Street organization to get a directory of businesses in your town, and most businesses can be found on social media. Take a look at your shopping list and take note of how you can make a difference in your community.