Supporting Local: The Power and Benefits of Shopping Small Businesses in Polk County this holiday season | Polk County Moms

Did you know that independent retailers contribute more than triple the amount of money to the local community compared to chain competitors? When you spend your money online, very little of it actually goes back into your local community. According to the American Express 2022 Small Business Economic Impact Study, for every $1 spent with a local business, over two-thirds ($0.68) stays in the local community to support local families, local causes, and other local businesses. That’s why, even though shopping from the comfort of your couch is tempting, it’s important to make an effort to support local businesses.

Small businesses play a crucial role in our communities. According to the federal Small Business Administration, small businesses employing 500 people or less make up almost half of the United States’ workforce and gross domestic product. This may be hard to envision when you visit your favorite local coffee shop or bookstore, but every dollar you spend there actually stimulates your local economy.
Still need more reasons to shop local? Here are 5 reasons:
  1. Keeps your community unique: The unique character and personality of your community are shaped by the people and businesses that reside there. When recommending other towns to visit, do you suggest going there for their chain stores or restaurants? Probably not. It’s the local stores and restaurants that make a destination special. By shopping locally, you help maintain a vibrant community that attracts visitors. For example, when I talk about Polk County, I often mention my favorite spots to shop, eat and visit… none of which are chain stores.
  2. Provides personalized customer service: Every sale matters to a small business owner. This means you can expect exceptional customer service and employees who are knowledgeable about their products. For example I love that when I visit certain shops they remember who I am and what I bought last time. Often times those same shops will mention something they saw at another local store that they think I would like.
  3. Supports your neighbors: Approximately 20 million people are employed by businesses with 40 employees or less, according to the Small Business Administration. When you spend money at a local small business, you’re helping to support your neighbors by contributing to their wages and benefits.
  4. Contributes to local nonprofits: Local business owners care about their community and often give back. A 2015 study by Alignable, a network for small business owners, found that half of the surveyed small business owners planned to donate to charitable causes. Of those, 90 percent intended to give to local organizations, while 10 percent planned to donate to national ones. Small businesses support local school, local teams and even other businesses.
  5. Offers unique treasures: While chain stores are convenient, they lack the one-of-a-kind and unique items you can find at local stores. Discovering that “wow” piece of jewelry crafted by a local artisan, enjoying delicious specialty food made on-site, or finding a handmade stuffed animal that you know your child will cherish are just a few examples of the treasures waiting to be found locally. This holiday season, feel good about spending your money at local stores because you’re not only finding great gifts but also giving back to your community. 


Shop Small, Support Local Businesses this holiday season! Join us at Oh Snap! It’s a Holiday Market on December 2 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at St. John UMC Gymnasium. 

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