6 reasons your holiday support for local small businesses should continue all year

6 reasons your holiday support for local small businesses should continue all year

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When it comes to making a big impact on your neighborhood and community, it pays to think—and shop—small. That's because supporting local businesses supports so much more than local businesses. In fact, there are several reasons why your holiday support for small businesses should continue year-round.

You're helping out your community

…and not just because you're patronizing businesses owned by your neighbors and fellow community members. When you shop small businesses, more of the money you spend stays within your local economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, an average $48 of every $100 spent at small businesses stays in the local community—opposed to just $14 of every $100 earned by larger businesses.

That's more than three times the money staying right there in the heartbeat of your life—your neighborhood and community.

You'll get the kind of customer service you deserve

If you've ever stood in line for hours at a big-box store waiting to return an item, or wandered the aisles hoping to find someone to help you out, you know how frustrating that can be. One great benefit from taking your local shopping habit into the new year is better customer service—as a rule.

According to Business News Daily, customers often find that small businesses provide the best customer service—something Americans are, more than ever, willing to pay more for.

You're helping local causes

Think about this: according to Score, 75% of business owners donate an average of 6% of their profits annually to charitable organizations—and generally speaking, those causes are closer to home. In fact, small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to local non-profits and community causes.

So when you're shopping local businesses, you're not just helping the owner; you're helping other causes like local charities, youth organizations, first responders, religious organizations, shelters, soup kitchens and many others.

6 reasons your holiday support for local small businesses should continue all year
Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

You'll connect better with your community

If someone asked you to name every person who lives on your street, would you be able to? According to Trulia, probably not. Forbes even reported on a Trulia survey that revealed half of Americans don't know their neighbors' names.

Well, shopping small might not replace taking a plate of cookies next door for a quick meet and greet, but it can help you form positive connections with your neighborhood and community. So get to know the friendly grocer down the street—who knows, he or she may be your neighbor.

You'll be happier

That feeling of community is pretty important, psychologically speaking. According to Action for Happiness, being connected to a community gives people a sense of belonging and has a big impact on their happiness and well-being.

That well-being goes beyond warm and fuzzy feelings, too. Action for Happiness asserts that connecting with people locally can have a positive impact on your health, including reducing the risk of depression, lowering the risk of heart disease and increasing your life expectancy.

You're giving jobs to your neighbors

If there's one good reason to shop local businesses all year long it's this: small business drives economic growth, both locally and on a national level. In fact, according to an SBA report shared by Small Biz Trends, 47.1% of US employees work for a small business.

And when it comes to your locally owned businesses, those jobs are right there in your backyard—literally. By supporting small businesses, you're creating jobs for your neighbors, friends and family—and improving the quality of life for everyone in your community.

Sure, the season of giving might be quickly coming to a close. But from helping your neighbors to improving your communities to feeling happier and healthier, supporting small businesses is the gift that keeps giving—all through the year.

To find ways to support the small businesses in your community, visit the Salt Lake Chamber's website.

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