The COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns have had a major impact on the retail and hospitality industries. While large, multinational corporations may survive this current period of uncertainty, smaller local businesses will greatly suffer. Now, more than ever, it is very important for customers to support local businesses to ensure that their doors stay open.
Here are some reasons for you to shop local during the COVID-19 Pandemic:
For Economic Reasons
Small business owners generally live in the same community their business is in, as do all of their employees. By shopping local, you are ensuring that money stays within your community. If you buy from local businesses, you also know where your money is going. Your money will, therefore, be an investment into that local business’ growth and go directly into the business owner’s pocket. By choosing to shop local will literally be helping small businesses keep their doors open.
As a result, many more jobs are created within your community, because often the people working for these small businesses are also members of that community. People with stable jobs are also often more solid members of a community and add value to that community. Small businesses are a legitimate part of the fabric of the community and rather than just being located there.
For Social Reasons
One of the main reasons to shop local is that small, independent businesses bring character to the community. By shopping local, you are given the chance to explore your immediate community, which you may miss out on if you go directly to a big corporate retailer.
Small community businesses are also often very loyal and collaborative. The small business community is very supportive of each other, and you’ll often find that they sell or promote each other’s products and services too. Since these local businesses are a part of the community they are also often a part of the community culture and development. This may involve, for example, contributing to or sponsoring community events.
By supporting small, local business to succeed could inspire confidence in other entrepreneurs who may also want to start their own businesses. Shopping with smaller businesses and not predominately choosing larger chains creates invested confidence in local talent.
For Ethical Reasons
Small businesses often also give back to the local community, not only through job creation and supporting other businesses but also through corporate social responsibility. In addition to keeping our money local, shopping local helps to cut back on pollution caused by industrial waste. Smaller businesses may have a shorter manufacturer-to-consumer journey. There is therefore more transparency in ingredients, materials, and sources of the products you buy. Your local purchase helps cut down the processing, packaging, and transportation that big box stores demand.
For a More Personal and Safer Experience
When you shop local, you can also often get honest, expert advice directly from the shop owners, because they specialize in their products. Buying local also means more affordable and quality products in some cases, as the shipping cost is cut out or reduced, and the production line is often shorter. Small local businesses are also more likely to provide a more personalised customer experience. Small businesses have a smaller customer base, which means they are likely to go above and beyond in their efforts to help you.
Smaller businesses will also be able to manage their new hygiene and safely regulations better. They will often be more transparent about their production line. The customer has peace of mind knowing that the owner of the business is directly ensuring the safety of their staff and their customers.
Overall, it is clear that shopping local is vital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Support businesses in your community to ensure that they make it through these uncertain times.