If we have learned anything from these times, it is that we need a sense of community. We are all in this together and our local businesses are at the center of it. Keeping your dollars local has many benefits that are more important than you might realize.
Think of where you want your money going. Do you think it is better for your money to go to the big box companies or the local ma and pa shop in town, where many of your dollars will be brought back into the community?
Knowing the Businesses: Educating yourself about the local businesses and what they bring to your community is the first step of the local shopping process. Park the vehicle somewhere downtown and go for a stroll. Visit small businesses and learn what services they offer. Now when you need something, you know which local business to go to for future reference.
Gift Local: Gift cards from a local business makes for a great gift. This allows the receiver of the gift card to go in and explore the shop for themselves and understand what it is that makes the local business so unique and interesting. An item from a local shop is equally as good and beneficial to the business and shows the gift receiver what items the store provides.
Spread the Word: Once you have visited these great community businesses be sure to share the news of the business, its great services, and products. Take a picture of the items that you have purchased, share it on social media, and tag the business, so others know where to find these products.
Meet the Business: When you are in these local businesses, talk with the employees. It is often quite interesting and fun talking with business owners and learning how their business began and why.
Leave a Tip: Leaving a tip for these local businesses if you can is also very important in helping these small businesses keep their doors open. If a local business made it through the first wave of the pandemic, they will truly need more help to overcome this second wave of lockdown.
Eat Local: Before swinging into a fast-food drive-through, think about ordering take out or delivery from a local restaurant. They need the help more than the big chain corporations and odds are the local burger joint is healthier and tastier than that quarter pounder and large fry from McDonalds.
Bank Local: This is one form of local community giveback that often slides under the radar. Banking locally is a large part of supporting the local economy. Local banks help make the best of the community money by putting it back into the community in the form of loans to help the community economy grow or survive. They have an interest in helping the community succeed. The best benefit of helping local businesses is understanding the cycle that is gained from doing so. When you help a local business, that business is then able to help other parts of the community in many ways such as donating to a high school sports team, purchasing from other local businesses, or putting their money into a local bank. Helping the community is a cycle of giving back to each other. In short, when you invest your money into the local economy, you are not only investing in the business but in yourself.