We’ve all heard of ‘Buy Local’ campaigns promoting the value-driven shops that add character and diversity to their neighborhoods. Rewarding local business owners with our dollars and loyalty has a tremendous social and economic benefit to the community. Local store owners usually live nearby and feel a greater responsibility to the community, themselves supporting local organizations and causes while paying local taxes and putting much of their earned income back into neighboring businesses. As big box retailers eye the service market, we must view our local independent service professionals in the same light. They too add to the character of our communities, provide exceptional value, and are champions of customer service. To continue the progress of successful ‘buy local’ campaigns, remember to ‘hire local’ the next time you need a hand around the house or repairs for your car, lawn equipment, or bicycle.
When faced with the need to hire an expert, keep these five reasons in mind when you pick up the phone or go to the computer.
1. Local businesses produce more income, jobs, and taxes for communities than big box retailers do. According to Intuit, for every $100 given to locally owned businesses, including service professionals, $45 of that stays in the local economy. Compare this to just $15 of every $100 spent at big-box retailers.
2. Local service professionals are more likely to use local banks, media to advertise, and other local services.
3. Supporting local businesses contributes to a community’s character and economic diversity. One-of-a-kind businesses and service providers connect with community members on an individual level, not only boosting the friendliness of a neighborhood but also increasing safety and security. Local independent providers buck the trend of homogenized big-box stores whose service providers read from a script.
4. Local business owners are more accountable to their own communities. They’re owned by people who live in the community and are more invested in the success and safety of the community.
5. Supporting local businesses and service providers is good for the environment. If hired by their own community, local service providers don’t need to travel long distances in cars, greatly reducing their gas consumption. Gas is frequently one of the highest costs that independently owned service providers incurs. A reduction in this costs will also lead to more local spending by the provider.