Local, homegrown businesses are sometimes at a disadvantage compared to national chains and franchises. Small businesses form the bedrock of local economies. Local entrepreneurship strengthens the community. Montague Cinemas, a family-owned cinema, presents the top eight reasons why people should take the initiative to shop locally whenever possible.
1. Reinvestment in the Community
Shopping local means more money for your city or town. Local businesses are more likely to reinvest their profits in the community than national chains. A 2013 study published in the journal Civic Economics noted that out of every million dollars in sales, independent stores put $450,000 back into the local economy while chains produced only $170,000. The difference lies in the supply chain for the locally owned businesses. Chain businesses are more likely to receive their supplies from distant warehouses, while hometown businesses use nearby suppliers.
2. Job Creation
When you shop local, you can feel good about creating jobs. When you shop locally, you are encouraging job growth in your own community. A 2012 study in the American Economic Review found that even during times of recession, local businesses hired and retained more workers than national chains. Local businesses were also able to recover more quickly from times of economic uncertainty.
3. Community Support
Small businesses are far more likely to support charitable causes than chains and big box stores. By sponsoring charitable events and community efforts, these businesses make a mark on the local area. Independent businesses truly care about their community. Sponsorship is a win-win situation for local businesses, with the increased goodwill benefiting sales.
4. Shop Small for More Variety
When you shop locally, you’ll find a fresh and exciting range of merchandise that you would not find at a large chain. Large chains set their stock on a regional or national basis, but local businesses can tailor their inventory to the community’s needs. This means that you will be able to find more unique gifts, clothing, and household items.
5. Big Box Stores Drive Down Wages
Shopping locally makes a difference in the community. The presence of big box stores drives down wages and forces more people to rely on government assistance. When you support local companies, you are making an investment in the economic health of your city or town.
6. Lower Prices
Shoppers may have the mistaken impression that merchandise costs more at small stores than at big box stores, but this is not true. In Consumer Reports, a 2015 study found that retail items sold at an independent pharmacy were considerably less expensive than those sold by nationwide pharmacy chains. Small stores have less overhead and are able to pass these savings on to their customers. This is especially true of entertainment businesses like Montague Cinemas and other local movie theaters.
7. Environmentally Friendly
Since local businesses source their materials nearby, they have a lower carbon footprint than businesses that have items shipped across the country. They are more likely to be located in city and town centers, meaning fewer unnecessary car trips to the edge of town where big box stores are typically located.
8. Support Local Tax Revenues
Small locally-owned businesses do not put a strain on a city or town since small businesses do not demand tax incentives. When tax revenues are counted, a big box store costs the city or town money that would otherwise be put back into the community for schools and other uses.
When you shop locally, you are making an investment in the health of your community. Shopping locally means that you will be able to find unique items for lower prices. It also affects the prosperity of the country as a whole, with better wages and tax revenues. Montague Cinemas encourages everyone to take the time to find local businesses.