In every town or city, there are a number of independent small businesses that have to fight to compete with larger chain retailers. In the United States, more than half of all small businesses ultimately fail or close within the first five years of opening. Since small businesses are one great way to support the country’s economy, it is important for everyone to patronize small businesses in their local area. Here are five ways that you can support local businesses.
1. Look at Value Rather Than Cost
When deciding between the products from a local small business or a large international retailer, many shoppers see lower prices and immediately decide to shop at chain stores. However, it is important to pay attention to both price and value. Cheap items that need to be replaced every year are not necessarily a good value for shoppers.
2. Visit Farmer’s Markets Weekly
Edible products are a difficult area of sale for small businesses, as many local companies are unable to afford the high rents of retail storefronts. The best way to find a large collection of locally produced items is at a farmer’s market. You can find fresh produce and support local chefs, farmers, and business owners in one centralized and convenient location.
3. Dine at Local Family Run Restaurants
Most decent sized towns and all cities have plenty of selection when it comes to dining out for meals. If, like most Americans, you eat out several times each week, make an effort to visit local family run dining establishments instead of big chains. They often use high quality ingredients, offer larger portions, and support other local small businesses who provide produce, breads, or meats.
4. Participate in Monthly Small Business Events
In many areas, there are monthly events that revolve around small business celebrations. These events take place on certain days throughout the year and are meant to bring awareness to small local businesses in the town. Do your best to patronize small businesses during these events, but also remember to spread the word about the event through social media so that as many people as possible are able to attend.
5. Recommend Small Businesses to Friends and Family
Most small businesses do not have the same advertising budget that large chain restaurants and retailers do. They get most of their business from repeat customers and word of mouth. Do your part to encourage business by letting your friends and family know about the best small businesses in your area. With your recommendation, they may also begin shopping or eating at these venues.
Small businesses contribute to the local economy, hire local employees, and keep the small town spirit of America alive. Be sure to help them grow by attending small business events in your area.
Scott Lopez blogs about small business issues. If you are interested in starting your own business, there are several top online business schools that offer business degrees geared towards your interests.