Covid-19 has rocked the worlds of many small businesses locally and across America. In Vermont, we've seen the tragic closings of so many once-loved restaurants and small businesses. Small businesses are the heart of America and it is critical that we support them as much as possible. I've listed 5 reasons why you should be shopping small every day, but also how you can support small businesses without spending any money at all.
Here are 5 reasons why you should be shopping small every day and especially during this epidemic.
1. Small businesses give back to your community vs the Big Box Stores who do not help your local economy
Shopping at big box businesses do not support your community in the least. However, when you support a local small business, you’re financially supporting your town, city, neighborhood and friends. Small businesses pay sales tax to the state, city and county the business is located in. Additionally, that tax money is used to support public schools, parks, roads, and sidewalks, as well as fund public service workers, like firefighters.
What’s more, according to Civic Economics, “on average, 48% of each purchase at local independent businesses is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14% of purchases at chain stores.”
2. Small businesses make a major economic impact
As mentioned above, more than half of the U.S.’s jobs since 1995 were created by small businesses. According to the SBA, since 1990, big businesses eliminated 4 million jobs, while small businesses added 8 million jobs. The more you shop at a local store, the more potential job opportunities you could help them provide.
3. Small businesses provide better customer service
When you shop from small businesses, you're shopping from real people, oftentimes your friends. Small business owners strive to survive and one of the biggest advantages they have over large retailers is the ability to provide more personable, hands-on, and memorable customer service. Also, you're more likely going to get the best deals from your friends or owners of small businesses vs big box stores.
4. You're Supporting your friends
Many of your friends who own their own businesses have taken out small business loans or have invested a significant amount of their time and money to start up their small businesses. The next time you shop at a big box store for something, ask yourself who you're benefitting by shopping there. Would you rather give your money to someone who is already extremely wealthy, who potentially lives and spends their money in a different country or would you rather help your best friend who is just trying to put food on their table or buy clothes for their children?
5. You're buying better quality products
Would you rather buy a McDonald's frozen hamburger where you have no idea where their meat comes from or buy a burger made with love from Grazers? How about your fine and handmade jewelry? Would you rather buy your engagement ring or earrings at a box store where you're uncertain if the gemstones are conflict-free or would you rather buy it from Abrau Jewelry, where I can assure you the best possible price and assure you that all of my diamonds are conflict-free, made in the United States with fair labor practices?
Small businesses have just as much access to vendors that the big box businesses do. If a small business doesn’t have the products you want or need, ask them – they’re also usually much more receptive and willing to order them for you at a much better cost.
How you can support small businesses
How do you get more involved in the small business movement? This is a great start:
- Shop small, of course! And not just on Small Business Saturday, but every day that you can. Need milk, eggs, bread, or beer? Go to the local corner store instead.
- Get vocal on social – Post pictures, tweets, and status updates of either the small business you own, or of your friends who own small businesses. Be sure to use the hashtag #ShopSmall. Also, write positive Yelp or Facebook reviews for the small businesses you love and support.
- Keep up with The Small Business Administration
- As a small business owner, promote Small Business Saturday send promotions via email and text, post on social media.
- Share this post and others like it – Sharing is caring and it's free! Raise awareness and show your support.