Local businesses play a significant role in defining who we are as a local community.

We gather together, three words that strike a chord during the Thanksgiving season. Three words that revive memories of family, friends, traditions and the role each plays in the local business community.

While the Thanksgiving holiday may not be a global celebration, the idea of gathering communities together to celebrate local business is a universal concept.

When I reflect on the local businesses in my neighborhood, I am reminded of how they have shaped and strengthened our region’s personality, character, and economy.

From the local cafes and small bookstores to the unique artisan shops and corner grocery stores, all have played a role in sustaining who we are as a community.

In 2010, American Express created The Shop Small® Movement to “inspire people to shop with and support these small businesses as well as give back to the places that have given their communities so much.”

In 2014, the US local campaign, Small Business Saturday, generated an estimated $14.3B* of consumer spending.

Aside from consumer dollars, how does a small local business impact the community?

Here are six ways local businesses give back to your community!

 

Why Buy Local, Shop Local, Eat Local?

 

Builds Community:  Local businesses are the ultimate social networking sites. The casual encounters consumers enjoy in the community help scale businesses, build relationships, and build community unity.

Strengthens The Local Economy:  Local business strengthens the local economy. Each dollar spent at a small business returns three times more money to the local economy than one spent at a chain. Those dollars in turn stimulate opportunities for the local economic activity for improvements to schools, public services, and transportation.

Shapes Our Community Character:  Local business helps create the community’s unique personality—buying local products protects this diversity. They reflect the roots and culture of their community through their one-of-a-kind products and the services they offer.

Enhances Our Choices:  Local businesses select products based on their interests and the needs of their local customers, not the interests of a national chain. A wide variety of local businesses, each serving their customers’ tastes, creates a greater choice for all of us.

Creates Jobs And Opportunities:  Local businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue, expanding opportunities for other local businesses. The local bakery down the street creates opportunities for the local advertising agency, insurance company, or cleaning service rolling local dollars back into the community.

Gives Back To Our Community:  Local businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits compared to big companies. A study by the Small Business Administration found companies with less than 100 employees gave an average of 50% more than companies with 500 or more.

Local businesses play a significant role in defining who we are as a local community. As you gather together this Thanksgiving and during the coming holidays, think about your town. How has a local business in your community defined the character of your community?

SHARE this post if you proudly support your local small businesses!

*NFIB and American Express Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights

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