Buying local an easy way to support your neighbor

We live in a “hurry-up, gotta-get-it-now” kind of world. It’s no wonder, since we have the ability to shop 24/7 at the touch of our fingers. I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to wanting to make things happen in a hurry, however I’m a loyal, local shopper. I like spending money with businesses that support our local economy. I like to experience the unique character of all our different local shops.

I’ve had the experience of shopping online and being disappointed in what looked like a great product for a great price. So unless it’s a super deal — exactly what I want — I tend to steer away from pressing the “go to shopping cart” button. Nowadays, if a local store doesn’t have what I’m looking for and can’t order it for me, I’m more inclined to buy something else it has — something that I can see, try on, or “test drive” in person.

The advantage to buying locally isn’t just that significantly more money recirculates locally, but also that when items are purchased at locally owned rather than nationally owned businesses, it helps create more good jobs for community residents. It’s well known that small, local businesses are the largest employers nationally and that entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and workers will live, and spend their earnings, within the community.

Shoppers get better service when buying locally because local shopkeepers take more time to get to know their customers. They usually hire people with a good understanding of the products they’re selling. Customers are not just numbers in their ledgers — we are neighbors, friends, and acquaintances — and they will go the extra mile to make sure we are happy working with them, and that we are pleased with their products and services. One of my favorite reasons for shopping in the community is that I like being recognized and having my business appreciated by the people who work in these stores. I just haven’t found that same kind of appreciation in an online transaction.

(Continued)

 

Buying locally allows businesses to give back to the community in many ways. Small local companies support nonprofit organizations and local community events at a higher rate than big businesses.

Recently, a prospective customer came to our store declaring that he had ordered an award online and, though it arrived in time, it was broken and wasn’t close to what he thought he was getting, and he needed to have his award NOW. As any other local shopkeeper would do, we took care of his immediate challenge, and hopefully made a friend. That’s what buying local helps to provide — the best instant gratification available in a pinch.

Our business is a proud member of Dane Buy Local, and we do our best to support all other local companies, so you can understand why I just love it when a customer comes into our store and says, “I want to do my business in Dane County.” 

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine – your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.