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The Local Advantage

If you are a small business owner you understand that small businesses are an integral part of the fabric of a community.  You appreciate clients and customers who understand the benefits of doing business in their local and regional communities.  As we have for many years, you probably try to purchase as many products and services as you can locally and regionally from locally owned small businesses.

While many of your employees understand this concept, we find chances are many more have no idea of just why it is so important to support locally owned and operated businesses.

With the surge in "Buy Local" campaigns in recent years, we thought it was important to summarize the many benefits of buying locally.  First to educate our own employees and secondly to help others understand the overwhelming benefits of keeping as many of their purchases locally as possible.

Even if you are not an employee of a small business and are working for a national or global employer, if you live and work in our region your quality of life is affected by the success of the local and regional economy.  Many of our customers are nationally owned corporations with local representation that is allowed local autonomy to purchase because the parent corporation recognizes the benefits of a strong local and regional economy.  Nationally owned businesses that do not allow local autonomy and local purchases just do not understand or care about supporting the local region.  Most times they are doing their employees a disservice by making them settle for inferior service.

Of course there are varying opinions on just what makes a business local.  We believe that to be a true local business, it must be one in which the owner/manager has full autonomy and local decision making authority with respect to his or her business practices.

Some simple questions that may be asked to determine whether or not a business in our region is local or not are:

  • Is your business privately held or publically traded?
  • Do the business owners totaling greater than 50% of the ownership live in our local region?
  • Is the business registered in our state with no corporate or national headquarters outside of our region?
  • Can the business make independent decisions regarding the look of the business, as well as all business purchasing, practices and distribution?
  • Does the business pay all of its own occupancy, marketing and other expenses without assistance from a corporate headquarters outside our region?

There are many well documented benefits to our local and regional communities and to all of us choosing to purchase from local independently owned businesses.  We realize that is not always possible to buy what you need locally but when the products and services you need are available locally, we merely ask that you give true locals a chance to compete for your business.

Top Ten Reasons to Think, Buy and Be Local

1.  Buy Local - Support Yourself and Your Community

Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned business, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases  from other local businesses and service providers.  Independent local businesses employ an array of supporting services, circulating money in and strengthening the local economy.  Local businesses hire local architects, contractors, cabinet shops, sign makers, accountants, insurance agents, computer consultants, attorneys and advertising resources to help run their businesses.  Local business employees use local doctors, clinics and hospitals.  Local businesses employ your neighbors and friends.  You know them from school, church, service clubs and many charitable organizations.  Their children attend local schools, they own their own homes, pay local taxes, support local businesses and vote on important issues.  Dollars spent at local community based suppliers create a multiplier effect in the local and regional economy that typically amounts to 3 times that of a national corporation or chainstore.  (Click here to see how money is circulated within the community by purchasing from local businesses versus national chains)

2.  Support for Community Causes

Local owners have a natural interest in their communities long term health.  On average, non-profit organizations receive 250% more support from small local business owners than they do from large corporations and national chains.

3.  Keep Our Communities and Regions Unique

When big box and national corporations dominate a community, they choose what reaches customers and options dwindle.  A multiplicity of independent, local businesses creates great diversity and options available to consumers.

4.  Reduce Environmental Impact

When goods and services are produced locally it saves time, money and fuel for everyone.

5.  Create More Local and Regional Jobs

Small locally owned businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our local & regional communities.  Studies show that locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and provide better wages and benefits than national chains and large corporations.

6.  Get Better Service

Local businesses hire people with a better understanding of the region, how their products relate and take more time in developing a long standing business relationship.  They often possess a level of expertise and passion for their products that is unmatched by employees of national chains.  Simply put, local owners and employees take a special pride in their profession.

7.  Interest in Community

Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community and region and are more invested in the communities and regions future.

8.  Maximize Your Local Tax Investment

Studies show that small local businesses require much less public infrastructure and make more efficient use of city and regional services compared to sprawling shopping centers and big box stores, which are far more costly in terms of local services.

9.  Have More Choices

A marketplace of many small businesses helps to ensure more innovation, better service, competition and lower prices over the long term.  Independent businesses, choosing products based on what their local customers need and desire, not a national sales agenda, guarantees a more diverse range of product and service choices.

10.  Preserve Local Prosperity and Entrepreneurship

A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers choose to invest and settle in local communities and regions that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

Think Locally and Regionally First + Buy Locally and Regionally When You Can = Being a Great Community and Regional Supporter

For supporting studies on the information listed click here.