By Chris Gill
Here at Boody, we’re big supporters of reducing your carbon footprint by shopping locally. Because of this, we’re excited to be kicking off our new Shop Local series this month where we will be profiling Boody stores around the United States and taking a look at their unique stories.
But before that, we thought we’d take a closer look at why it’s so important to shop local. From lowering your environmental impact to investing in your local community, here’s why we fly the “Shop Local” flag with pride.
1. It reduces your carbon footprint
One of the key reasons it’s worth shopping locally is that it reduces your environmental impact. Locally-owned businesses make generally more local purchases, requiring less transportation. They also tend to set up shop in town or city centres, meaning there’s generally less sprawl, congestion and habitat loss.
2. It supports your local community
By shopping locally, you are directly contributing to your local community. Your money is going straight into your village, town, suburb or city – helping it to thrive. Otherwise, you will most probably be supporting a giant chain or conglomerate, meaning your local businesses could suffer.
3. It creates local jobs
By supporting local businesses, you are in turn helping your local economy by creating more jobs. Even a small business needs enough hands to help it sell its products and services, which is why the more we support them, the more jobs will be created and the better off our local communities will be.
4. It’s more personal
Another of the great things about independent businesses is that they’re run by people, not boards or stockholders, and you will likely get to know them. Quite often these people, such as family-run shop owners, will have interesting stories as to how their stores came to be and about the area you’re living in. This personal touch cannot be matched by a chain.
5. You get great customer service
Leading on from the previous point, you’ll generally find you’ll experience much better customer service in smaller, local businesses. Particularly when dealing directly with store owners or their families, you’ll notice that customer service is everything to them – this is what will keep their customers coming back for more. Generally speaking, those working in larger chains won’t be as invested in the business and therefore won’t give the same quality of customer experience.
6. You’re supporting local not-for-profits
Many local businesses support local not-for-profits and charities that are relevant to that area, so by shopping locally you are helping to increase the number of local donations. It goes without saying that bigger companies and chains do also support charities, but if your preference is to support local not-for-profits and charities, your best bet is to shop from your local store.
7. You’re encouraging innovation
Local businesses are usually hubs of creativity and innovation. After all, the very fact they exist is down to the idea from an individual or multiple people. Just look at the cafe and coffee business. There’s constantly a new local hotspot popping up trying to do something different and these ideas are not to be underestimated.
You never know, your local store might be run by an entrepreneur who is close to inventing the Next Big Thing. Support them and you’re supporting their creativity and innovation.
8. They’re often in walking distance
Another way you’re lowering your carbon footprint by shopping locally is that these sort of stores are quite often in walking distance. Leave the car at home and hop on your bike or take a casual stroll to your local shop to minimise the pollution your vehicle would be contributing.
9. It promotes individuality
With giant chains homogenizing communities, independent businesses bring some much-needed originality. Shopping locally promotes individuality and breathes new life into communities that are dominated by generic and commodified companies.
10. It helps create the identity of your community
Finally, one of the top reasons to shop locally is that it helps to create the identity of your community. A town, suburb or city street filled with unique and vibrant shops will create a more appealing aesthetic that is not only great for the locals but for tourists, too. Just have a think about your favorite towns and suburbs, either here in the US or overseas, and we’re sure they’re made up of unique independent stores that give them their soul and character.
So there you have it. Ten reasons why we should all be shopping locally, although there are countless more. Keep an eye out for our next article in our Shop Local series, where we’ll be interviewing the store manager of Jackson Whole Grocers in Jackson, WY.
In the meantime, find your local Boody store with the Boody Store Locator