Buying from locally owned businesses

local firstThe Kindness Revolution is beginning a national campaign to encourage recognizing and buying from local, small businesses.  In my opinion, there are good reasons that we consumers should shop local as often as we can.

Before I go any further, let me emphasize that our campaign is by NO MEANS an attempt to boycott or eliminate large chain operations. I certainly realize the economic impact to many communities based on the presence of large, national organizations. As a Memphian, I can attest to the importance of FedEX here in my town. Their presence assures a more stable tax base, more purchasing power in the community, more job opportunity, and their corporate support of everything from local charities to athletics is unmatched.

That said, my urge would be for these same FedEx (and other) employees to shop local as often as they can.

Let’s take a look at some reasons why:

First, and maybe most importantly, the innovation and creativity behind many local small businesses contributes to the culture of a community.  From Chicago pizza, ,to New York deli, to Maine lobsters, to Memphis barbecue, the local “touch” differentiates our community cultures and adds variety to what could otherwise be a national standard.  I love to hear the stories about “while you are there, you HAVE to visit ABC Restaurant”.

In addition to the cultural distinctions, the economic benefits of shopping locally are both obvious and huge, involving the simple fact the locally-owned business profits stay in town!  The better the business does, the more money stays local.  Not only from a tax perspective, but from a local spending angle, more local profits results in more local business.  Local bank deposits are larger, real estate is purchased by the local owners as opposed to remote executives, local business profits circulate through the local community as opposed to landing in some corporate remote city.

And finally, you may not be surprised to hear that local non-profits estimate that local companies donate up to 250% more than national corporations to their charities.

So let’s support our locally owned companies. it is as simple as occasionally getting  a cup of coffee from the local coffee shop, getting your hamburger from the local shop, and picking up your groceries from the local grocer. You’ll meet some interesting people and will definitely make a difference in your community.

Help The Kindness Revolution by simply saying “Thanks!” (and spending a few bucks there).  Imagine the difference we could make if we each committed to spending an extra $50 or $100 a year at local businesses!

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