Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to tap into a nationwide awareness of the importance of small businesses to the local economy. But it doesn’t stop there — here are some resources to keep the momentum strong throughout the holiday season and throughout the year.
First, here’s a blog post that you’re welcome to copy-and-share to your own website or blog post (we only ask that you provide a link back to marketingideaexchange.com as the source).
Next, we have two different downloadable graphics–first, a PNG that’s appropriately sized for social sharing and also a postcard graphic that has a customizable back side that’s ready for you to add a personalized note or bounce-back coupon.
[copy this blog post to share on your own site]
Easy ways to support local businesses and reasons why you should
According to the Urban Land Institute, when asked what kind of neighborhood they wanted to live in, nearly half of people specifically mentioned local shopping and entertainment as one of their top priorities. Small businesses define our communities in large and small ways.
Unfortunately, it is increasingly tough for local small businesses to survive and thrive these days. They face stiff competition from big-box chain stores and online retailers who not only beat them in price and selection but also in salaries and benefits to employees which greatly impacts the level of service that they’re able to provide.
If you care about your town’s local businesses (and you should) then you must commit to supporting them.
Each dollar spent in a local store brings as much as $3.50 into the local economy.
Keeping your dollars in your hometown has other advantages that aren’t always immediately apparent. By shopping locally, you reap such benefits as:
- A Stronger Economy. Local businesses hire people. In addition to staff for the stores, they hire local architects and contractors for building and remodeling, local accountants and attorneys to help run the business, and so on. They’re also more likely than chain stores to carry goods that are locally produced, according to the American Independent Business Alliance. All these factors together create a “multiplier effect,” meaning that each dollar spent in a local store brings as much as $3.50 into the local economy. By contrast, large chain stores tend to displace as many local jobs as they create because they often drive local retailers out of business.
- A Thriving Community. Shopping at local businesses gives neighbors a chance to connect. It’s easier to get to know someone you often see at a local restaurant than someone you only wave to as you open your door to grab a package off the porch. It also reduces pollution when you drive less distance or, better still, walk the shopping district to run errands.
- Better property values. The impact of the local business community on your own home’s value is difficult to measure but undeniable. Local businesses make your town a better, more interesting and engaging place to live. Local eateries, bars, bookstores, food markets, pharmacies, and gift shops all combine to give a place its unique character.
How to support local business:
The most impactful way that you can support local businesses is by making a conscious effort to prioritize your spending to always consider local first.
It’s also easy to commit to always eating locally, both in the food that you purchase and in the restaurants that you patronize.
Beyond this, there are other simple ways that you can help them grow:
- Make them see stars. Good online reviews can impact other customers’ decisions to shop or visit. It can also help the business show up better in search engines. And, since consumers trust online reviews (88% of them) as much as personal reviews, your rating can go a long way.
- Get social. Like and comment on their social media posts, even if it’s only with an emoji or quick comment. ‘Check in’ to their location when you shop there and share photos of your great experiences!
- Pay cash. Small businesses often have minimums for a debit/credit card purchases because the credit card processing companies charge about 3% of each transaction and a per-transaction fee just for the business to be able to accept cards.
- Make it memorable. Set a goal to explore unique local shops, restaurants and venues at least once a month with friends. In this way, you’ll share the experience and spread the love for your local community and the businesses that help it thrive.
When you invest in your local economy, you’re not just helping local business owners, you’re also helping yourself by helping make your town a better place to live in, with a rich character, thriving economy, and tightly knit community. And the more local businesses prosper, the more new ones will open, making it even easier to continue shopping locally in the future.