Mulligan Management Group, LLC

Why It Is Still Relevant To Buy Local

“Keep your money local.” Everyone has heard that slogan – but what does it really mean, especially as we approach this holiday season?

According a recent survey, 76% of Americans say they would rather buy from a local, small retailer than a large chain. Yet, 90% of small retail businesses fail when large chains open in the communities small businesses compete in. Seems like a dichotomy doesn’t it? So, let’s talk about the real elephant in the room…Why should YOU buy local, especially in this tight holiday season?

Five Reasons to Buy Local

  1. Putting your holiday dollars to work at local businesses, rather than at chain stores or online, helps local economies because those firms are more likely to buy from local suppliers and hire local services. Local businesses returns 45 cents on the dollar to the local economy, compared with just 13 cents for each dollar spent with a big box chain, of which 9 cents is for employee salaries.
  2. Locally owned businesses employ 69% of the community's workforce.
  3. A 2008 study of Kent County, Michigan found that a 10% shift in community spending from chains to local businesses would create an additional 1,600 jobs and $53 million in wages.
  4. Local businesses have knowledgeable sales persons and dependable follow-up service.
    Customers don’t get that from a big box store.
  5. Buying local helps create vibrant downtown areas, businesses with local character, and business owners who know their customers by name.

"The big box stores can't compete with the quality of your products or the value of your service and expertise,” said Tim Wiener, chief operating officer for VCP International. Local merchants promote personal safety, contribute to the community, and protects the environment. They have the value advantage, which trumps volume discounts.

"It's heartening to see that so many consumers understand the important role independent retailers play in their communities — and that they are increasingly choosing to 'shop local,'" said Oren Teicher, chief operating officer of the American Booksellers Association. "Study after study has made clear that locally owned businesses have a far greater positive economic impact on their communities, contribute more to local charities, and are largely responsible for our towns and cities retaining their unique characteristics."

Local business owners are also active in the community, all the while donating to local causes and charities. Alex Piteo, Owner of Miracle on Main Street and Shred-it Akron, serves on several boards, donates to dozens of local fundraising efforts – but more importantly, devotes his time. It is not just about dollar donations, it’s also about what business owners do with their time. Liz Murphy, Owner of The Learned Owl in Hudson, Ohio, is involved in a large number of community efforts as well.

So why should you shop locally this holiday season and beyond? Local businesses are a reflection of your community’s values. The money you spend stays closer to home, as the local business pay relatively higher wages to their employees and the business owner is able to spend his or her profits on products and services from other local businesses. Miracle on Main Street and Shred-it Akron offer unique products and services. For northeast Ohio residents and visitors, there are so many good reasons to shop locally in order to invest in the community’s continued economic prosperity. Good shopping!

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