Buying from the largest retailers, whether in-person or online, seems like a great idea, right? Low prices, free delivery, and a huge selection are all points in favor of buying from the big guys. But in the long run, buying from local or smaller online businesses is a better shopping experience—not to mention a smarter one. Here are a few reasons to support small businesses over major retailers.
A community can host a large factory, chain store, or other shopping centers that employ most of the town, but more than likely, the company isn’t based there. Neither are the owners, who likely only see that store in terms of profits and losses. A small local business, however, has a direct connection with the community, and not just at the customer assistance level. Small businesses support the economic health of the town or city through taxes and making their own purchases and investments locally. Small business merchants are also likely to be very involved in local government, chambers of commerce, social events, local sports team sponsorships, and more. When you support a small retailer, you’ll help the place where they reside and work thrive.
The store or site may be gigantic, but that doesn’t mean the selection is. Many big box stores and online retailers carry a handful of specific brands, usually from companies as large as themselves. Small businesses can offer more diverse stock. You’re likely to encounter products that are unique, durable, handmade, organic, or authentic. Whether it’s a small-town store selling local crafts, handcrafted furniture, and local farmers’ produce, or (it just so happens) an Indian online market offering bona fide Indian rice, beans, spices, and other popular Indian foods and ingredients, smaller businesses offer freedom of choice—and plenty of pleasant surprises.
Given a choice, during a bleak and frigid winter, wouldn’t you rather have a warm pair of mittens hand-knit by a craftsperson who cares than a flimsy factory-made pair that could quickly unravel? Small merchants can present merchandise from local vendors with a personal investment in their products and who have a warm working relationship with the sellers who carry their products. Naturally, dealing with a small business also means one-on-one, hands-on service from the business owner and their staff, as opposed to a depersonalized experience with a faceless vendor many miles away. Small business owners are also more willing to make deals and offer savings you might not get from a larger retailer.
Want to know one of the biggest reasons to support small businesses over major retailers? According to studies, about 48 percent of all US employees work for small businesses; that’s nearly 60 million people. In the past two decades, smaller merchants have also hired more people than the bigger companies. Keep them going by thinking small (business) and buying big!
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