Giving the gift that gives back to our community
As most of you know, small businesses are not just the backbone of our economy, they are the heart of our community. With Christmas 2012 quickly approaching and we all hustle about to get all our holiday shopping done, why not earmark some portion of our spending to local small business. Consider it an investment in our community — one where the return on that investment will benefit the community long after the holidays are over. Studies show that for every $100 spent at locally-owned independent businesses, $68 remained in the community versus $43 for chain stores. It is called the multiplier effect. When you spend dollars locally, they are spent again in the local economy, another five to seven times. The more you spend at local independent businesses, the higher the multiplier effect.
The perfect gift
Shopping at our local businesses gives you the opportunity to not only find unique gifts, socialize with other locals, eat at our local restaurants which offer in-season world-class cuisine, wines and locally-brewed beers, there is a also the sense of community that one can feel from interacting with our local businesses and their owners. What a great way to get that holiday spirit going!
Some wonderful food for thought: If every family in the United States spent $100 of their holiday shopping budget at locally owned, independent businesses, more than $7.8 billion would be directly back into our nation’s local communities. Just think of the impact each one of us can make by just a small shift in spending to local.
Great local gift ideas
Looking for great gift ideas? Check out our Totally Local VC directory of partners. They all have a great selection of unique items that are sure to please everyone. Also, don’t forget to check out our weekly Facebook listing of gift giving ideas.
Here’s a great list of reasons to shop local:
- Better customer service. As a local retailer, we get to know the customers and community we’re serving. Providing stellar customer service is the way that most small businesses set themselves apart from the big-box retailers.
- Improve the community. Buying local has positive long-term benefits because a higher percentage of money stays in the community. This enables cities to afford civic improvements, better support schools and revitalize business districts.
- Support local charities. According to a survey by American Express, three–quarters of small business owners said they donate a percentage of their profits to charity, with 5% of small firms donating more than 10%.
- Local shopping supports local hiring. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses accounted for 64% of net new job creation in the past 15 years, so shopping local supports hiring in local communities, too.
- It’s green in every aspect. The impact on the environment is reduced because local retailers make more local purchases, which requires less transportation, contributing less to congestion and pollution.
There are so many good reasons to shop locally and to support small businesses. So this holiday season, and even after, why not support and celebrate the al the locally owned independent businesses that help to make our community so unique. Join the Totally Local VC movement – together we can build a stronger community together.