6 Big Benefits of Shopping Locally

Tara Garmon
March 2, 2022

It’s been nearly two years since COVID-19 began to make headlines, and the global economy is still being seriously affected. Countless small businesses have been driven completely out of business due to factors linked directly to the pandemic, as well as the so-called “Great Resignation” that has made it challenging to find and retain staff. Millions more businesses have found themselves on the brink of closure.

American Express surveyed 523 small-business owners in October. 78% said that the sales they get this holiday season will be the determining factor in whether or not they will be able to stay open in 2022. 

With Christmas coming, it has us thinking of ways we can do our regular Christmas shopping while supporting our local community and helping to keep those businesses alive and thriving through all these challenges.

The “Shop Local” movement has been garnering support for years, but in the face of these unprecedented challenges, it is gaining momentum like never before. Support for this movement could help keep millions of small businesses alive, and that’s important for not only the lives of those business owners and their employees, but the economy as a whole. So let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of shopping locally.

Benefitting the Local Economy

The American Independent Business Alliance, the AIBA, says that around 48% of the cost of any purchase you make locally goes straight back into your local economy. That number also rises if you buy from local artisans, and even more so if those artisans use locally-sourced materials. However, in a chain store like Walmart or Target, it’s only approximately 14% that makes it into the local economy. 

Creating and Retaining Local Jobs

If you’re worried about taking business from those big corporations, don’t be. The fact is, small businesses are the biggest source of jobs in most locations. Two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. are created by small, local businesses, and approximately 52% of the nation’s entire workforce is employed by them. Shopping locally drives the local economy and keeps local citizens employed.

Benefitting Local Nonprofits

Another benefit of shopping locally is that small businesses are very likely to contribute to charity. A recent survey by the Small Business Administration, the SBA, discovered that 75% of small businesses donate an average of 6% of their profits to charities every year, and a lot of those charities are located in your community. For example, many small businesses contribute to food banks and homeless shelters in their local areas.

Programs like Aspired are making this even easier by allowing businesses and nonprofits to form partnerships that allow consumers to support local nonprofits at no additional cost to the consumer whenever they buy from local businesses they already shop at anyway.

Protecting the Environment

Since products that are produced locally don’t need to be shipped as far, they make much less of an environmental impact than those that are produced far away. Buying locally means less use of fossil fuels and less air pollution from exhaust.

Better Quality Products and Services

More local competition also means more diversity and better customer service as those companies vie for your business. Because local businesses know they must compete with other local businesses and national chains, they focus more on delivering a great experience and better quality. Plus, you’ll often find unique items that you’ll never see in a big box store.

Fewer Supply Chain Issues

One final benefit of shopping locally that is more relevant today than ever before is the fact that locally-produced-and-sold goods are much less likely to suffer from supply chain issues. As you’ve undoubtedly seen in recent months in your local stores, the global supply chain has faltered in the face of the pandemic. Customers have seen empty shelves and increasing shortages due to production issues, issues at the ports, trucking issues, and labor shortages. Buying goods locally supports businesses that are less likely to fall victim to these issues, because the supply has a smaller distance to travel, and doesn’t rely as much on the supply chain for availability.

How Can You Make a Difference?

If you’re looking for a way to support local businesses while also making a difference to charitable organizations, check out the Aspired app. This app connects businesses with nonprofits in order to bring awareness and support to both, and lets you make a difference without costing you anything extra! Download the app now to find out how you can start making a difference today.

Tara Garmon
Social impact writer. Driven to help startups and small businesses succeed while providing value and making a difference in the world.
The easiest way for nonprofits to reach new donors and partner with businesses they love. Get started free: www.aspiredworld.com

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