Animals, People, & the Earth

Shopping Local is a Gift to your Community

Support your neighborhood businesses to help your community thrive.

Shop Local

Since 2010, Small Business Saturday has been touted as the day to patronize small businesses instead of big chain stores for holiday shopping. The movement has gained significant momentum every year, quickly growing into an international crusade to reserve the Saturday after Thanksgiving as the day to shop at small businesses and help give them a fighting chance against their corporate competitors. While we are certainly fans of Small Business Saturday for so many reasons, we think that shopping local all year round is even better. When you shop locally you not only support small businesses, but you also strengthen your community.

Isn’t Shopping Local the Same as Shopping Small?

Not necessarily. While most local businesses are small businesses, not all small businesses are local. There are certainly small business franchises or small businesses owned by external interests that send much of their revenue out of the community to corporate headquarters somewhere else. When we talk about buying local, we are in support of buying from locally owned businesses

Why Shop Local?

There are so many reasons to shop local, and many of these reasons benefit both the local business owner and the consumer.

First, shopping local keeps more money in your community. Local business owners often live in the communities in which they do business and therefore return money to the community when they shop both personally and for the business. They have a higher tendency to hire local staff but also locally owned services like accountants, attorneys, designers and architects, tech consultants, and local banks. They are also more likely to invest in civic causes, such as sponsoring local activities like after-school sports programs and town events. Buying local creates a chain reaction of good for your community helping to keep multiple local businesses afloat.

According to the American Independent Business Alliance, there is a 48% return to the community when you shop locally as revenue from the local business is spent in the community. Only 13.6% of revenue from the big chains is spent in the communities they inhabit. All that extra money being spent in your community translates into many benefits, including the means to keep taxes down and access to capital for community infrastructure and improvements.

Help the Environment

Next, shopping local is better for the environment. Local stores and restaurants often source their products and ingredients from community partners. This means lower carbon emissions from less shipping, more sustainable practices in growing and producing goods, and safer environments for workers. When you take a trip to your downtown area and walk into various local businesses, you can find unique products, enjoy a nice conversation with the business owner, see your neighbors, and spend less time driving.

Better Selection

Local businesses offer unique, one-of-a-kind, high-quality products at your local stores that stand out from what you might find at a big-box store. Proprietors of local businesses are more likely to know you and order according to your tastes and preferences, so you’ll get just the things you want. Plus, local business owners are experts on their products and can make personalized recommendations based on knowledge and experience. Contrast this with getting the mass-produced, mostly plastic stuff from China that you’ll find at a big box store or enormous online retailer.

Finally, shopping local helps your friends and neighbors to recover from the economic hardships many are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Helping a local business keep its doors open works to keep neighborhoods stable and provide jobs to members of the community.

For all these reasons and more, at Earth Animal we love partnering with local businesses to support the communities we serve. We know how easy it can be to just click and shop these days, but we believe that it is important to think about both the short-term and long-term effects of our consumer choices. You may pay a little more at the cash register when you shop locally, but you’ll help your community, help the environment, and get higher quality products in the process.

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