8 Benefits of Loving Your Local Business

FiveStars

Local businesses are the heartbeat of the nation’s economy. There are six million businesses in the U.S. with one to four employees, and the majority of them are small mom-and-pop shops that cater to local shoppers, according to research from Gallup.

While job creation is one of the main contributions that small businesses make, there are many others to consider. Take a look at all of the benefits that local businesses provide, which is exactly why shoppers should love their local business.

1. Job creation

Since the recession in 2008, small businesses have pulled the economy out of the black hole. By 2015, the American economy was on its 58th month of consecutive growth, thanks mostly to small businesses. Seven million of the 11 million jobs that were created since the recession came from small businesses, according to the Small Business Association.

2. Local families thrive

When shoppers buy goods from local stores, they’re supporting local families. The bakery owner, for example, might have two kids in high school and doubles as the PTA president.

When shoppers buy from the bakery, they’re helping that family buy school supplies, groceries and make a car payment. The money stays local, rather than filling the pockets of a wealthy CEO.

3. Community support

Small businesses often support the local community. They sponsor baseball teams, host can drives for the food shelf and collect coats for those in need around the holidays. Small businesses aren’t afraid to contribute cold hard cash either. Small businesses donate 250 percent more than larger businesses to non-profits and community causes.

Why? Small business owners take pride in their community, and make efforts to give back. They join business associations and network with others to understand the needs of their community so they can give provide support where they can.

4. Unmatched customer service

Small businesses are known for personal service. Managers and employees know their customers by name, get to know their needs and work to meet those needs on-time every time.

Small businesses often offer customer service features that large corporations can’t, like gift wrapping, fast delivery or loading goods into a customer’s car.

Download our free small business customer loyalty success guide to learn how to drive customers back 2x more.

5. Unique products and services

The local coffee shop makes a house blend like no other, the tire shop on Main Street has a mechanic who can fix a flat in ten minutes and the hair salon has a stylist who can work wonders on unruly hair.

Small businesses are known for unique products and services that aren’t mass-produced for an entire population, they’re specialized products and services that you won’t find in big box stores.

And, let’s not forget that some of these unique products become more than just local favorites, they become tourist attractions. Tobies, a small donut shop in Minnesota, for example, started off as a small restaurant and bakery in 1947 and has turned into a hot spot for tourists heading north along Lake Superior.

6. Surprising inventory

Small businesses work hard to differentiate themselves from the big guys. To do so, they often carry a variety of inventory that often surprises customers. How many times have your customers come in for one thing, but left with additional purchases they weren’t planning on?

Maybe they unexpectedly found a gift for their mom, or decided to try a new cupcake that was on display.

The point it, customers are often pleasantly surprised by the variety of goods they find in local shops.

7. Community identity

From the string of stores and shops in the town’s Main Street to homes that double as a hair salon or accounting office, small businesses give a community its identity.

The businesses that are scattered throughout the area contribute to the look and feel of the city. The old bakery that’s been in business since the 1930s and the new tech-savvy internet designers that just opened their doors add to the city’s history and curb appeal.

8. Community tax base

The businesses in a local area pay taxes, which are used to fuel the community. Studies show small businesses in a mix-used Main Street set up contribute $247 per acre in taxes compared to just $7.11 per acre of big box stores.

Why the drastic difference? Part of the reason stems from big box stores seeking tax breaks from cities to move in, which are often granted.

Bottom line: small businesses contribute more taxes to the community

Download our free small business customer loyalty success guide to learn how to drive customers back 2x more.

How does your business contribute to its community? Tell us why your customers love local businesses in the comment section below.

Lisa Furgison
About the Author
Lisa Furgison

Lisa is a writer at FiveStars, a freelance journalist, and co-owner of a media company, McEwen's Media.

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