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Start Shopping Locally: Supporting Small Businesses

Imagine this: you are walking down the aisles of Target and you end up in home decor. There is a beautiful painting that would go perfectly in your bedroom. You hesitate and think that it’s not very unique, but believe it would fit your aesthetic. From this scenario, Target took your money for a piece of art that hundreds of other people have hanging in their bedrooms. Your money goes to a business that does not truly value you and your business. It feels like you did not contribute to anything… you just got a regular, basic, Target painting on your wall. 

Now imagine this scenario: you are taking a walk downtown and see a store whose window display immediately catches your attention. You go inside and are greeted by the kindest woman. While browsing through the store, you see the most mesmerizing painting of a rainforest. The woman tells you the meaning behind the painting and you are taken away by its backstory. “Sold!” you say. The woman thanks you for your kind service. 

Notice the difference between the two scenarios? Although you ended up with a nice painting in both situations,  shopping locally made the biggest impact. Your service means more to local businesses than you can imagine. They will use that money and put it to good use. Local businesses thrive off of your satisfaction and content with their products/services. It is so important to understand what you are buying and who you are buying it from. 

Not convinced yet? Here are a few reasons why you should start shopping locally and support small businesses.

  • Local businesses support other local businesses
  • Small businesses give jobs to millions of people a year
  • Local businesses are owned by people in your own community
  • Shopping local is good for the environment––there is not as much plastic waste and gas pollution from shipping
  • Excellent customer service experience 
  • Enjoy the uniqueness of products
  • Entrepreneurship fuels economy

Now that you know the numerous pros to supporting small/local businesses, here is a list of things you can personally do to support local businesses right now.  

  • Order food from a local restaurant
  • Tip generously if you can
  • Buy your produce from a local farmer’s market
  • Advertise businesses––spread the word
  • Like, comment, and share on social media pages
  • Shop from a local clothing store
  • Write a good review
  • Recommend products/services to others
  • Volunteer, if possible
  • Show your appreciation
  • Buy gift cards to favorite restaurant/store

There are so many positives to shopping locally. It feels good knowing that you supported someone in my community. Next time you find yourself buying from a big company, remember what your time, efforts, and finances are going towards. Shopping locally is a total win-win.

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Maiah Lan

Winona '23