So what is all this about shopping local? What can one person really do? Well, let us break it down for you.
When you buy local, you support an individual who has a dream to provide a good or service to the community that represents their own personal contribution to our neighborhoods, cities, villages, homes. You are fueling their fire of passion and commitment to build a dream, not only their own, but one for the whole area to have the stores, services and goods accessible in our small towns.
Do you realize it is actually a lot tougher to open a small business than it is to lauch a large corporation? That’s right. banks, investors and politicians look at small business as a large risk as to whether the business will be able to sustain itself and be an asset to the community. The ‘system’ is much more supportive of big plans, massive buildings and a ton of upfront capital.
And if an entrepreneur does take the plunge, what about operation costs?
Small business owners actually have more liability than many big businesses that get deep discounts when they buy their products for resale (volume discounts) or subsidies and tax breaks to run their business.
Small business owners rely heavily on a single stream of revenue: the end user. We are not busy manufacturing overseas with several streams of business to business revenue, wholesale accounts, or discount warehouses on top of our retail sales. We rely on our customers to spend their money with us so that we can keep our doors open.
What does it take to keep our doors open?
We have the same expenses as any other business. A mortgage, liability insurance, utilities, business licensing, real estate and sales taxes, inventory, equipment, advertising, supplies, manhours, to name a few. And in the beginning, things like supplies, advertising and manhours get put on the back burner.
When owners finally do get paid, they are likely the people who also shop local and support community projects, so the 90% of the money you spend at a local establishment gets put right back into our community.
How can you make a difference?
Take time this holiday season to plan. Plan on supporting our local shops. We have so many in our community. Let’s create a list here so you KNOW your money is being spent locally. Putting someone’s kid in dance lessons, paying college tuition, creating funds that support community fairs and fundraisers. How you decide to shop can truly make a difference for that one store owner who is on the fence about whether they can afford to stay open for the coming year.
PLEASE COMMENT WITH YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR BUYING LOCAL YEAR-ROUND!!