5 min read
When you shop local, you build your community and help small businesses recover from COVID-19.
Who doesn’t like a bargain? You can land great deals by shopping online, whether you browse for last season’s fashions or look for gently used books.
But price isn’t the only factor in what you buy. When you shop local, you fuel the growth and health of your community.
7 Great Reasons to Shop Local
1. Help Small Businesses Recover From COVID-19
Even with assistance from the government, small businesses have struggled to bounce back from lockdowns and lost sales. We’ll start with the positives, though.
The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. It offers more than $2 trillion of economic relief, and some of those funds go directly to small businesses.
Other COVID-19 measures include the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), loan advances, and debt relief from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Still, these findings from Main Street America show why small businesses need more help:
- Only 48% of small businesses received funding after applying for federal relief in the first stimulus round.
- Businesses who received PPP or Emergency Injury Disaster Loan funds estimated they could only stay open for about three more months.
- Of the companies surveyed, 34% said they didn’t earn revenue in April.
According to the ADP National Employment Report, small businesses lost over 6 million jobs from March to April. Plus, publicly traded companies received $1.3 billion in (PPP) funds while many small businesses were shut out from the program.
On top of that, the PPP ran out of money. It could happen again, and soon.
Sometimes, we take local businesses for granted by thinking they’ll stay open without our support. Every purchase counts, whether you make a quick trip to the local grocery store or order appetizers from the burger restaurant down the road.
2. Better Return on Investment
Return on investment (ROI) is a phrase generally reserved for marketing or investing, but it’s one of the best reasons to shop local. The money you spend in your community goes back into schools, infrastructure, social services, lower taxes, paying bills, buying homes, or reducing local deficits.
You also help create jobs when you shop in your community. Your money goes toward the hiring of police offers, teachers, and firemen.
3. Unique Options
Do you think you can find everything online? That’s not always the case!
Walk into a small shop, and you’ll find locally sourced clothing, unique art, or a great gift for your cousin who collects wacky coffee mugs.
And let’s not forget about your favorite local restaurants. You probably have very specific cravings, like the chori pollo from the Mexican place across town, or the biscuits and gravy from the little diner that's been there for decades.
4. Civic Character
People take a lot of pride in their neighborhood. Visit any small town or bustling city, and you get an earful about finding the best bagels, the best cup of coffee, or the can’t-miss events.
Sharing these local gems with friends and visitors gives us a sense of local pride. But without supporting local businesses, that character and those one-of-a-kind shops can’t last.
5. Improved Health
While shopping might not be the ideal exercise, heading into your community gets you out of the house. If you walk around your local farmer's market, you can also pick up fresh produce, meat, and other healthy options.
6. Increased Property Value
It may sound far-fetched, but shopping locally can increase your property value. When you support local businesses, you help maintain a vibrant, exciting neighborhood that homeowners want to live in.
If you need proof of this, look at the real estate listings in your area. See how many of them mention walking distance to restaurants or shops as one of the amenities.
7. You Buy From People You Know and Trust
Local business owners have an extra incentive to offer excellent customer service. Why?
They live in your neighborhood. Their kids go to school with your kids. You run into each other everywhere you go.
Chances are, you’ll get the attention you need if you have a problem or question. That’s the level of service your local, independent Pekin Insurance agent offers.
Independent agents donate to community charities, coach Little League teams, and go to school board meetings. It wouldn’t be surprising to find an agent on your town’s Chamber of Commerce.
Why do they do these things? Because independent agents know the importance of supporting the communities where they live and work.
Do you need auto, home, life, or business insurance?
When you shop with a local, licensed Pekin Insurance agent, your dollars go back into your community! Plus, you’ll receive the attention and customer service you deserve.