At Loyal to Local, we aspire to rebuild local communities through economic growth, by offering small, local, independent businesses the tools they need to compete with large chain corporations. We strive to make it easier, and preferable, for customers to shop at locally owned businesses, thereby helping local small businesses succeed. By supporting local merchants, we hope to help increase the number of dollars reinvested in local communities, foster local job creation, and reduce fuel emissions that result from shopping at non-local businesses.
We’re working to contribute to a healthy, sustainable economy and environment, and we encourage customers to purchase from local independent businesses whenever possible. Here are some of the main reasons why we’re dedicated to supporting local small businesses and the Buy Local movement.
- When you buy local, you support yourself and others in your community. Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned business, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, which helps support the local economy as a whole. In fact, studies show that if the residents of an average American city were to shift 10% of their spending from chains to local businesses, it would bring an additional $235 million per year to the community’s economy.
- Local businesses reinvest in their communities. Because they’re owned by people in the community, these businesses are less likely to leave and more invested in the future prosperity of the community. Throughout the United States, only about 33.6% of the revenue from national chains is reinvested into the community, whereas there is an approximately 64.8% return from local businesses. Additionally, a study in Austin, Texas found that $100 spent at a local bookstore produced $45 worth of local economic activity, and $100 at the chain store Borders brought back only $13.
- Local businesses make more charitable donations than large businesses. Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
- Local businesses create jobs and hire local people. When small businesses thrive, they can hire more people in the community. Small, local businesses are the largest employer nationally and provide the highest number of new jobs. Additionally, the introduction of national chains to a community often brings loss of employment. Studies have shown that the opening of a Wal-Mart reduces retail employment by an average of 150 jobs in the county of its location.
- Local businesses give your community character and encourage out-of-town visitors. Small independent businesses offer one-of-a-kind experiences and items that cannot be found at big box stores. Supporting these businesses helps keep your community unique and encourages people to visit.
- Shopping locally reduces your environmental impact. By staying local instead of driving to the next town’s mall or ordering an item from across the country, you can help reduce gas emissions and environmental damage. Additionally, since local businesses tend to purchase from other local business, supporting them helps minimize the environmental impact of transporting out-of-town goods.
- Small businesses offer better customer service and personalized treatment. Local independent businesses cater to their local communities. They are able to focus on the needs of their consumers and tailor their services accordingly. They don’t have to answer to large stockholders or corporate partners, so they often have more flexibility in how they operate and the type of service they offer. And because they hire local people, their employees have a better sense of the community and have more of a personal connection with customers.
- Local businesses rely less on taxpayer money than large corporations. Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
- Buying local increases competition and innovation. Creating a large marketplace of successful small businesses is the best way to support innovation and low prices over the long-term. When small businesses prosper, they have the freedom to offer products based on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, rather than products dictated by the large mainstream chain retailers. This allows for a broader range of product choices, more creativity, and less expensive goods.