Written by Brooke Barnett
This story originally ran in MetroFamily Magazine
Here in Owensboro, our local business scene is something that’s unique to our city for travelers, and provides quality and convenience for residents. Since local businesses are not tied to any national sales or marketing strategies, customers get a wider variety of products and services from Kentuckians for Kentuckians.
Local shopping is also crucial to our continued growth, because the success of local businesses attracts and encourages other entrepreneurs to start local businesses, which leads to more jobs and revenue re-circulating throughout our community.
The math for buying close to home is compelling—for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 remains in the local economy, and $27 leaves. Compare that to the same $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, where $43 remains in the local economy and $57 leaves. Recent research from Civic Economics (civiceconomics.com) indicates that local eateries return nearly 79 percent of revenues to the community, compared to just over 30 percent for chain restaurants. “When profits stay local, it increases the community’s wealth, tax revenue and standard of living,” Sue Lynn Sasser, PhD and professor of economics at the University of Central Oklahoma says.
Here are 10 reasons to keep your cash close to home:
1. Keep Money Local
Sales taxes fund our communities and provide vital services such as police and fire protection, street repairs and trash collection. Plus, local businesses are more likely to shop with other local businesses, keeping money moving in our local economy even longer.
2. Local Investment
Local businesses are less susceptible to national downturns and more likely to work harder to stay open. Local ownership means that important decisions are made by people who live in our community and feel the impact of those decisions.
3. Locally-Made Products
Local business owners often sell local products, which helps preserve the community’s distinction and creates more jobs locally, as well.
4. Support for Nonprofits
Local businesses support good work in our community. Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than large ones.
5. Discover Interesting Things and People
One-of-a-kind shops and restaurants are part of what makes our city a great place to live.
6. Personal Connection
Getting to know the store owners is a great reason to shop local. It’s their business, they are the decision-makers, and they build
a personal relationship with their customers.
7. Product Knowledge
Local business owners are well informed about their products and know what they are selling. Because they know their customers, they can easily adjust their inventories to include the goods and services local people want to buy.
8. Diverse Products
Local stores carry inventory you might not find at national chain stores. Local business owners choose products based on what their customers want and often carry unique items from local artists and farmers.
9. Increased Expertise
Shopping at a local store means you can get an expert opinion about the products that you’re purchasing. Local shop owners have to be experts in their field to compete. Use them—ask them questions and get advice about products.
10. Better Service
Local business owners do what they do because they are passionate about their products and typically take more time to get to know their customers. They’ll often go the extra mile to help you and to ensure you’re a satisfied customer. OL