Even when big box stores and e-commerce giants dominate so many marketplaces, many people are eager to support local businesses in their area. The reasons for doing so can be as varied as the shoppers themselves, but the desire to support friends and neighbors and give a boost to the local economy are powerful motivators for many people.


When you buy from small business owners, your money has the greatest impact on your community and can have a rippling effect on surrounding businesses, property values, opportunities for young people, and even the environment.

Buy-Local campaigns can be life-changing for entrepreneurs and revitalizing for communities, and for shoppers, it can be a simple way to get more personalized service, unique products, and a positive shopping experience that cannot be easily gained online.

Credit: Andreas F. Borchert

How To Support Small Business

Although many people are eager to give more of their business to locally-owned stores, they may not be aware of just how many options they have. Simply going into local shops that you might otherwise pass by on your way to big box stores will show you what’s available in your community. Make an effort to try to find a provider of what you need in your own neighborhood rather than buying online out of habit.

Many small businesses offer gift cards, so even if they don’t offer products or services that suit your tastes or requirements, you can still support your community by treating a local friend or neighbor who’s more likely to be a customer. Generously tipping and spreading the word about your positive experiences are also helpful.

Credit: Francisco Anzola

Support A Friend’s Business Without Spending Money

When a shopkeeper or entrepreneur is someone who’s not only part of your local community, but also a personal friend, you may want to consistently support them but lack the funds to be a constant patron. In other cases, you may simply not have much use for or interest in what they sell.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be insincere or unsupportive. In-person and online recommendations can be far more impactful to a local business owner than a one-time purchase. Posting to community message boards and on your social media feeds are excellent ways of supporting a friend’s company without buying anything.

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