Close your eyes. Think of the community you live in, or one that you have called home in the past. Have that town or city in your mind’s eye? Now imagine that same locale without the small, locally-owned business that line Main Street. What would your city or town look like without these beloved small businesses?
Would you miss them?
Would you even notice their absence?
As you think back on your daily shopping behaviors, it’s easy to see how homogenous the market has become. As consumers increasingly take to the internet for online shopping and convenient shipping, fewer local businesses are seeing shoppers darken their brick-and-mortar doors. As big-box retailers and megacorporations continue to consume smaller competitors with the promise of convenient shipping and easy accessibility, more small businesses and locally-owned shops are closing their doors for good.
While this may seem like the natural life-cycle of the market, losing the ability to shop local may be leading to a deterioration of our market’s backbone - one built on the backs of entrepreneurs who bravely built industries from a sense of purpose and mission. Instead of moving toward a world of single-source shopping, what if the key to a strong American economy was the very thing that built our great nation - an economy built upon local and small-business support?
Listen close to the buzz of daily American life, and you will hear the steady heartbeat of the American economy - small and locally-owned businesses. From coffee shops to nail salons, boutique stores to consignment shops, there is a small business for nearly any niche market or activity you can imagine.
When it comes to the economy, it may seem as though large corporations and online shopping make up the majority of consumer behavior and financial support. However, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has reported that there are nearly 28 million small businesses currently offering services in the US. In the years since 1995, almost 66% of new jobs in the country have been generated by small and locally owned businesses - this means that a huge number of essential jobs and services in the country are provided by small businesses!
Shopping with a small business not only helps the owner or employees of that small company - it also brings hope and opportunity to your community. The income and profits that local businesses make from shoppers offer vital sales tax revenue to cities - providing for local programs and infrastructure. Shopping with a worldwide company sees none of those benefits come back into your local economy. Small businesses also are more likely to invest back into your community through unique and special ways that only a local shop can.
While small businesses are hard at work bringing quality, professional services to their communities, the reality of the big-box retailer’s ever-consuming mouth hangs over like a dark cloud. Even locally-owned businesses that are relatively successful in their industry and community can feel the pressure from retail “Goliaths” who seek to bring their success under their all-consuming umbrella. Like the biblical account of the small, unassuming David standing at the feet of the towering giant Goliath, small businesses often go toe-to-toe with massive, armored competitors with only a stone and a sling.
When you partner with David instead of a Goliath, there are many benefits that you can take advantage of. First, you will receive a customer-first experience that is built upon a relationship over revenue. With personal, first-name basis service, you can really build an intimate friendship with your local businesses that is impossible with megastores.
Similarly, the diversity of products you can access will be far greater, and you will have the added sense of responsible shopping knowing who and where your goods and services came from, and that they were ethically sourced and made with love and passion.
Finally, as seen above, the benefits that small business brings to a community far outweigh the perceived benefits you gain shopping with big business. While big-box retailers may offer quicker shipping, the sense of strong community and local support that local businesses offer is second to none, and may be just what your community needs to grow and thrive!
Shifting your buying behavior toward supporting small businesses can seem overwhelming in a world of big-box retailers. However, every journey begins with one simple step. If you are looking for an easy way to begin supporting small businesses, look no further than shopping at Twin Pikes!
As a small business focused on providing quality products and services with a family-friendly feel, Twin Pikes offers shoppers a professional shopping experience with an at-home feel. Not only does Twin Pikes work to provide you with ethically-made and sourced products, but buying from a local micro-roaster helps you ensure that a family tradition continues - the very sentiment that helps build our national economy with purity and integrity.