Give yourself and your neighbors the gift of an economic boost by shopping local this holiday season.
Black Friday swiftly approaches. Are we safe to assume that you’ve got somewhere between 5 and 25 items sitting in your Amazon cart right now? Or that you’re anxiously waiting to see if that Bullet Blender you’ve been watching since June goes on super sale?
It’s alright. Don’t let the title of this post make you think we’re here to judge. We all love Amazon, Target, and Walmart (especially since Walmart’s been upping their game).
But today we’re presenting a case for why you might choose to veer off the Black-Friday-shopper-beaten path this season. And shop a little closer to home.
Shopping local has benefits for consumers, producers, communities, local economies, and the environment. Let’s discuss.
How Will Shopping Local Benefit You?
The main reasons you or I gravitate toward Amazon are probably cost and convenience, right? So who benefits (and how) when you go down the street to the little independent bakery, the dress boutique, or the custom frames store? Start with yourself!
Get Personalized Service
Small business owners (aside from being genuinely cool people) know that it’s in their best interest to provide a great shopping experience as well as a great product. When you shop local, you get a more holistic and higher quality experience—from the endearing jingle when you walk through their door to the last “Thanks for coming in!” as you exit.
See What You Buy
When was the last time you bought something on Amazon that didn’t look like the picture or turned out to be cheaper quality than you were hoping? You don’t have to answer. When you shop local, you get to see, touch, smell, and heft what you’re buying before you buy it.
Improve Your Health
Shopping locally—i.e., walking or biking to nearby shops—can increase your daily physical activity, reducing your reliance on cars and promoting a healthier lifestyle. Not to mention, local markets often offer fresh, locally-sourced produce, which is hard to come by or nonexistent at chain grocery stores.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Less driving and ordering online means less shipping and less fuel burned. That means less toll on the environment. You can feel a little less of a burden on Mother Nature and a little more like a low-level superhero.
How Will Shopping Local Benefit Your Neighbors?
If you’re interested in enjoying the warm fuzzies of giving to others this season (and who isn’t?), there are numerous ways that shopping locally can benefit those around you—aside from the more thoughtful and well-crafted gifts you might find for them at local shops.
Check out how shopping local gives back.
When you shop local, you’re putting your money where it matters most—in your community. Local businesses hire local people, which includes your neighbors. This creates job opportunities right in your area.
More jobs mean more families can pay their bills and support themselves. Plus, having nearby job options reduces commute times and traffic, making life a little less stressful.
Builds Stronger Communities
By shopping locally, you foster a sense of togetherness among your neighbors. You’re not just a customer; you become part of a network where everyone knows each other.
Local businesses rely on these connections, and your patronage helps strengthen these bonds. That tight-knit community then encourages collaboration, shared values, and mutual support.
Strengthens the Local Economy
The money you spend locally doesn’t vanish into thin air. It sticks around, circulating in your community. Local businesses often buy from other local suppliers, which keeps the money flowing. And as the local economy grows, so does your community’s strength.
This means more resources for schools, better public services, and overall improved quality of life. When you shop local, you’re not just buying products; you’re investing in your community’s future.
How Do Local Economies Work and Why Do You Have a Vital Role to Play?
Local economies are like ecosystems. When you shop local, your money stays in this ecosystem, benefiting your community. It goes to local businesses that, in turn, spend it on local suppliers and services, creating a ripple effect.
On the other hand, when you order from big e-commerce sites like Amazon, the money exits your local ecosystem. It goes to a corporate giant, often far from your neighborhood, and doesn’t find its way back. This weakens the local economy, reducing resources for your community.
So, shopping locally keeps the economic wheel turning in your favor, while big e-commerce can lead to an economic drain that hinders local growth.
This holiday season, you have the power to give yourself and your community the gift of an economic boost by choosing to shop local. While the convenience of e-commerce giants like Amazon, Target, and Walmart is undeniable, it’s worth considering the benefits of staying close to home. When you shop local, everyone wins—you, your neighbors, and your community.
- Enjoy personalized service and quality products when you shop local.
- Improve physical health through increased activity and access to fresh, local products.
- Reduce your carbon footprint by minimizing shipping and driving.
- Support your neighbors with job opportunities and foster a sense of community.
- Strengthen the local economy, leading to better public services and improved quality of life.