By: Ellie Burgueño
Small businesses are the life of every city. In fact, small businesses represent about 53% of the workforce and are considered the largest number of employers nationwide (U.S.A.) – 99.9 percent according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Therefore, supporting small businesses locally is of utmost importance.
Some reasons why buying locally can sound congruent and even motivate you to support small businesses are as follows:
Small businesses create more jobs. Investing your budget in supporting local businesses will not only help you create closer relationships with your suppliers, but you will be supporting these companies to achieve their goal: to be sustainable and generate employment, because a company with healthy finances will have the capacity to offer stable jobs to its contributors and employees, as a consequence this largely eliminates insecurity and crime in poor communities.
You stimulate economic development in your city. When a small local company manages to maintain an important client base, the money stays in your community. The employees of the company will, in turn, have enough income to acquire larger commitments such as buying a car or a house. According to the SBA for every $100 dollar spent on small local business, $43 goes directly back to the community. When the same investment goes to a national chain, only $13 of the $100 goes back to your community. Buying locally is equivalent to achieving development in your city because, with your support in the local company, you put money in everyone’s pockets and this will allow the standard of living of residents to rise, allowing your city to become a safer and stable place to live in.
You keep local talent at home. In communities like the Imperial Valley, a large part of the young population moves to other cities in search of better opportunities.
Why does this happen? Because the existing opportunities do not meet their expectations. A talented young person who has just graduated will always be hungry for good opportunities and a decent salary in order to aspire to have a better life. A community without opportunities scares off local talent, causing a lack of skilled labor to perform the tasks that a well prepared and qualified team could achieve in any company. Investing in a small business encourages the retention of talent and also the aspiration of young people to start their own businesses, knowing that their community will support them and they will succeed. More companies represent more jobs, more jobs represent constant growth and economic development for the region.
Small businesses give back to their local community. As local residents, small business owners are more concerned about the prosperity of their city. Therefore, their income contributes to altruistic and community projects. Many small business owners belong to clubs such as Rotary International, non-profit associations such as Red Cross, or Lions Club, among others. Entrepreneurs will always want to help in whatever they can to make the community better, so it is not surprising that small businesses earn a greater percentage of their income than national chains. Small businesses also tend to be generous with their goods and services, offering even promotions, discounts and benefits for their local customers.
Small businesses bring passion and life to the community. When you support a small local business you can be sure that your money is very well invested, why? Because that small business owner, with his income, not only can offer stable jobs to residents in the area, but you will also be supporting him to achieve a decent life for his family, perhaps your contribution represents some after-school activities for his children, such as dancing classes, music classes or sports activities, with this you are helping children to achieve a healthy development and you are contributing for a youth with values and a positive upbringing in your community, eradicating crime and eliminating social problems. Likewise, you can be sure that this small company not only offers excellent quality and attention to their products or services but a great passion for what they do since most small business owners are dreamers who have struggled to achieve what they’ve achieved.
As you can see, these are just some brief reasons why buying locally is very important. Your support to small businesses creates a healthy atmosphere, peaceful and safe communities, as well as a spirit of entrepreneurship and synergy in which all supporting all will achieve more prosperous, richer and healthier communities.
We all need of everyone. From the small pizza shop, cafeteria, local restaurant, car dealership, local newspaper or magazine, office supply store, market, jewelry store, local hospital, insurance office, law firm, dentist, loans providers and home sales, to the local bakery, and others, we all depend on everyone to make our communities a better place to live.
I hope that next time you need the products or services that your neighbors and small business owners offer, you feel inspired to support them and to put your grain of sand in making your community much better.