As much as you enjoy coming home to that stack of cardboard boxes after a long day at work or whether you prefer to do your shopping alla keyboard, resist the urge. Buy local.
Supporting your local ‘Mom & Pop’ shops creates local jobs, infuses community tax coffers with dearly needed sales tax revenue and creates a sense of community critical to our social wellbeing.
Businesses may find less expensive alternatives to goods and services outside their neighborhoods. Resist this extra-locale acquisition. Over time, imports eventually become the predominant source of supply causing local businesses to suffer financially and close. This inevitably has a negative impact on the economy. Lower prices do not necessarily equate to a benefit for the ultimate consumers. Imports tend to increase the reliance of an economy on other nations. This leads to a drop in political power amongst nations. While global free trade is an ideal to be sought, sourcing as many essentials as practical locally improves home economics.
If consumers spend $100 at a local store, it is estimated circa $75 stays within the same district. Small businesses tend to hire people from the local area. They also tend to buy raw materials from other small businesses who also hire people from within the same geographical area. Thus, buying locally drastically increases the local employment.
This should especially ring true if you are a small business owner. Frequent local and local will frequent you.
Large box retailers have decimated the shops that once lined small town Main Street USA.
From a consumer’s point of view, it is better to spend money at a local store than at a big business. The nature of big businesses is such that they move the industry towards an oligopolistic structure where only a few firms control an entire industry. As a result, these firms end up having a lot of bargaining power over the stream of commerce. The result is exploitation of local communities. These big firms have a mandate to increase profits and shareholder value which may not link well to employee well-being. If customers spend their dollars at local stores, they ensure the other stakeholders are also treated respectfully. The fragmented nature of small businesses makes it impossible for them to dominate the other suppliers.
Small businesses also tend to be environmentally friendly. They have a smaller ecological footprint than the larger corporations. Smaller organizations tend to source their products locally. As a result, the amount of fuel that is burnt while getting the products to the stores is very less compared to multinational organizations. Since the products are not transported as often, they do not need to be packaged extensively. This leads to the use of much less plastic and other non-biodegradable packaging material.
In addition, products sold by small businesses seldom require facilities like refrigerated warehousing. Once again, this translates to lower ecological damage. Hence, small businesses are also beneficial for the environment since they are much less likely to cause destruction on the scale that mega-corporations do.
The bottom line is that large corporations end up damaging the local economy. They tend to hike up the rents and drive down the wages in every small town they enter. The most important point is that larger businesses remit money from the town to the headquarters of the company. This could be in the same country or abroad. However, the effect is that same since money is siphoned out of the local economy. This often leads to revenue loss for the governments who are then unable to meet the obligations of the local constituents.
The negative impact of mega-corporations on small communities has been well documented and well understood. As such, recent trends show municipal governments making it mandatory that a part of product be sourced locally.