Top ten reasons to shop at locally-owned businesses this holiday season:
1. Significantly more money re-circulates in Roanoke when purchases are made at locally owned, rather than nationally owned, businesses: More money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing locally helps grow other businesses as well as the Roanoke tax base.
2. Most new jobs are provided by local businesses: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally.
3. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of our distinctive character: The unique character of Roanoke is what brought us here and will keep us here. Our tourism businesses also benefit. "When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace." -Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
4. Local business owners invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community's future.
5. Customer service is better: Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise for better customer service.
6. Competition and diversity leads to more choices: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
7. Reduced environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
8. Public benefits far outweigh public costs: Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
9. Encourages investment in Roanoke: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
10. Non-profits receive greater support: Non-profit organizations receive an average 350% greater support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.
You can make a difference with a few simple steps:
- Make a decision to find and patronize a locally owned business, wherever possible.
- Dine at a local, independent restaurant and treat yourself to a unique and personal dining experience.
- When you shop online with out-of-state companies, it doesn't contribute a dime to the local economy. So check for members who offer the same products, and some even deliver.
- Tell your associates, family, and friends why it is important to shop local. We all create our communities. Let's continue to create a strong and vibrant Roanoke as a legacy for those who follow.