Today, the world seems like a smaller place. A web design company in New York might have customers right around the corner, but it could equally have clients in Los Angeles, London or Lagos. In the online world, physical location becomes an irrelevance, and whether you are shopping for shoes, electronics, groceries or web design in New York, you can buy from anywhere in the world.
So with all that choice, and a global marketplace before us, is there any advantage to shopping locally over choosing from a supplier on the other side of the state, the country or even the world? As it happens, there are several. Let’s find out more.
#1 – Fueling your local economy
The businesses in your area are the primary source of tax revenue in your local community. Every dollar that you spend with a local business adds to the money that is being put back into local services such as schools, sanitation, emergency services and infrastructure. When you buy products or services from further afield, that local tax revenue is lost.
Research has shown that almost 50 percent of the money you spend locally remains in the area, meaning a thriving local economy that has more money to invest in the services that we all rely on. Shopping at a local business injects around three times more money into your neighborhood than using a national chain and an incredible 50 times more than buying from one of the online giants.
The benefits run even further, however. If local businesses are contributing more tax revenue, that lowers the tax burden on the everyday citizens who live in the neighborhood. It sounds like magic – better public services and a reduced tax bill – yet there’s no magic or trickery involved. It’s all through shopping locally!
#2 – Creating jobs
Local businesses need local staff; it is that simple. By shopping locally, you are helping the shops and companies in your community to grow, which in turn leads to increased revenue, higher recruitment and more career opportunities opening up for everyone. Look at it this way: $10 million spent at a local business generates 57 new jobs. The same amount spent at an online retailer like Amazon creates just 13 jobs.
#3 – Local knowledge
We gave the example of a web design company in New York, but you could as easily look at areas like logo design in NY. Local businesses understand the local market. They know what works and what doesn’t and will provide those small but essential extra insights that will give your website, logo or brand a local touch that can give an all-important edge over the competition.
#4 – A picture can be deceiving
Suppose you are buying a tangible product as opposed to a service. E-commerce is enormous, particularly in the clothing sector, and you can get some great shoes online. However, seeing them on your screen is no better than looking at them through a storefront window. You will only know how they look and feel on you when you try them.
The same applies to home electronics. We spend our lives glued to our smartphones, and you can read all the specifications and technical data you like, but it is not till you have it in your hand and have explored all the functionality that you truly know you are comfortable with it. How often have you bought something online only to receive it disappointed because it either was not what you expected or plainly didn’t fit! NOT convenient.
Keeping it local in the global world
The online economy has brought tremendous benefits and convenience to our lives and has changed the way we view shopping and procurement forever. However, it is important to remember the impact that our purchasing decisions have on our local economy, which does affect our lives. When it comes down to it, whether you are looking for a bagel in Boston or a web design company in New York, there are more benefits than you might realize to keeping it local! Imagine what everyday life would be like without the local bakery, butcher or favorite flower shop. Find a balance support local businesses, SHOP LOCALLY.