5 Top Benefits of Shopping Locally

5 Top Benefits of Shopping Locally

As we approach the holiday season, along with the demands of holiday shopping, it's more important than ever to remind ourselves to buy local and support the region's small business community. Eastern CT is fortunate to be home to a wide array of small and independent businesses offering unique services and products. Support our region's small businesses and play a part in keeping our local economy strong.

Take an extra step by participating in the Chamber's Holiday Shopping Trail: explore small businesses near you and win prizes along the way!

1. Small businesses reinvest in the local economy
Numerous studies show that small businesses tend to invest more in their local economies than chains and large businesses do. According to the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, $68 of every $100 spent at a small business stays within the local economy - over twice the amount invested by chains. These funds are used to keep our taxes as low as possible, fund vital municipal services, and increase our overall quality of life. 

2. Small businesses hire locally
Small businesses are the leading driver of economic growth, and more Americans are employed with small businesses than with chains or large businesses. By hiring locally, small businesses ensure a skilled, knowledgeable working population who lives near their workplaces and keeps their money earned flowing in the local economy. 

3. Small businesses ensure a diverse business community
With a smaller amount of overhead costs, small businesses are in a better position to provide unique products and services than their large-scale counterparts. Their ability to work flexibly gives them an edge that benefits the consumer in terms of offering diverse, new, or unusual products. This creates a more well-rounded, robust business community that can adapt to change while staying competitive within their respective industries.

4. Increased real estate values
Communities that have a thriving small business climate generally enjoy higher real estate values, and a higher quality of life, than communities populated by large-scale businesses and chains. The small business community is essential to maintaining a sense of local character, and in doing so, creates a more desirable place to live. 

5. Improved local networks
Small businesses are often agents of cooperation and are able to work with other businesses in a manner that large-scale businesses cannot. Small business owners and representatives are well-served to participate in networking events, informational presentations, and other activities that let them learn the layout of local communities and begin to work together to overcome mutual obstacles. For example, small business restaurants may be able to incorporate menu items from local producers, offering a high-quality food experience while keeping a minimal environmental impact, or small manufacturers can team up with independent marketing companies for affordable, effective product promotion. By combining forces, small businesses can achieve great things!