Shop Local by Maureen Wendt, President/CEO
The holidays will likely be different this year for many. According to those who track consumer habits, the industry says that three in ten consumers started their shopping earlier than usual this year and one in ten consumers is expected to procrastinate. For those who still have shopping left to do, I want to share what happens when you shop local and encourage you to shop local.
More of your money will stay in the local economy – For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community. What happens when you spend the same $100 at a national chain? Only $43 stays in the community.
Locally owned businesses use local resources, employ local workers and serve primarily local consumers. The unique character of our local community is defined in large part by the businesses that reside here. When you personally know the people behind the business where you’re buying local, you enjoy a connection you would not otherwise have. Along with the rest of the community, you celebrate when a favorite local business succeeds and you mourn when it’s forced to shut its doors.
A successful business environment plays a big factor in our overall community satisfaction with where you live and value of home and property. Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s welfare and future.
Locally owned businesses pick the items and products they sell based on what they know you like and want – and often carry a wider array of unique products because they know the local market. You are business owner’s friends and neighbors and locally owned businesses have a vested interest in knowing how to serve you. They are passionate about what they do – why not take advantage of it?
Local business owners know you and you know them. Studies have shown that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of chains.
Local business owners can often order the same items that you see on-line. By purchasing local, you are supporting a locally owned business, their employees, and the community.
Nurturing local businesses ensures a strong economy. Buying local has benefits beyond mere convenience. When you support local business owners, you get a better level of service, as well as helping your community make your community a better place to live.
So – finish your holiday shopping at a local retail store and/or with a restaurant gift certificate – and keep it up in the new year. I hope each of you have a happy holiday shopping season!
The Dale Association is a unique not for profit organization who has been responding to needs of adults in our Niagara community for 70 years, and whose mission is to provide comprehensive services and coordinate connections for adults in Niagara and neighboring counties which enhance their health and wellness and empower them to build bridges into their communities. This important mission is the focal point of each program – including our Senior Services, Mental Health Services, and Caregiver Support Services. For more information about The Dale Association, please visit www.daleassociation.com.