We know you can’t find everything you need here in the valley, but we’re willing to bet you can find a lot more than you think you can. All it takes is a little effort, as in asking if something is in stock or if it can be ordered. Don’t forget that many local businesses also have websites, and while they may not rival Amazon for selection, they can certainly fill the bill in many instances.
Local businesses employ friends and neighbors, and keep local dollars in the community. Mom-and-pop shops rely on the customers within their town to keep coming back on a daily or weekly basis. Big box stores have much more financial stability than local shops, so without a constant stream of revenue, you may see your favorite local store struggling to make ends meet.
According to mademan.com, there are five major benefits of shopping locally:
1. Tax base: One of the five benefits of shopping locally is the increased tax base. By shopping locally, more sales tax is being generated by local stores, and that tax can be used within the community. Common uses for local sales tax include investments in infrastructure, police and fire departments, libraries, and parks.
2. Jobs: Local shops employ local residents, which means there will be more job opportunities within your community. The increase in jobs also has a domino effect. Local stores will need to hire other local residents to help with accounting, marketing, etc.
3. Product diversity: This may not seem important at first, but it is a win-win situation for local customers. Big box stores have national sales plans, and generally do not stock their stores with products that are sought after within a specific region. Local shops will need to stock their stores with products that their local customers will want, many of them could even be locally made, which adds another layer to the local cycle. So if you have many local shops within your community, there will be a much broader range of product choices.
4. Competition: Local shops competing among themselves is also one of the most important five benefits of shopping locally. Big-box stores often drive mom-and-pop shops out of business, which means there is no competition. With no competition, the big-box stores can charge higher prices. By having a multitude of local stores within your community, all of the stores will need to keep their prices competitive in order to gain your business.
5. Community well-being: By shopping at local shops, you will most likely run into your friends and family more often, which helps unite the community together as a whole. Local business owners are also more likely to donate more to local causes than big box stores are.
We know there are many things that can’t be purchased locally. In that case, we would still encourage using a small, regional business if possible, whether found in a neighboring community or online.
We know that even a modest effort to shop at local businesses first will pay many dividends, both in consumer satisfaction and in keeping the local economy spinning in a positive direction. Shopping locally is also one of the best things to do to build and maintain a sustainable local economy.
The Deerfield Valley, like many rural areas around the country, is faced with many difficult challenges when it comes to maintaining a sustainable economy. Shopping locally is one relatively easy way to help meet those challenges. It only takes a little effort and creativity to find things here and keep the money circulating locally.