Small businesses are the cornerstone of any society. Many places do benefit from big box stores and supermarket chains providing adequate supply of a large range of goods. However, these larger corporations simply cannot compete with smaller, locally owned establishments when it comes to giving back to, and looking after, the community.
Today, we’re exploring five powerful ways small businesses help their local communities, and why these benefits are so important.
First and foremost, small businesses are far more likely to support the local community via their supply channels. They understand the importance of shopping and supporting locals, so if someone down the road has what they need, they’re probably going to head over there rather than order from overseas.
They’re also far more likely to practice social procurement than larger companies. Put simply, this means that items ordered provide value above and beyond simply themselves (whether that be economically, environmentally, or socially). In most cases, this ethos is highly beneficial to the local community.
When locals feel a sense of togetherness and strong community identity, they take more pride in their town, and relationships between those who live in the area prosper. This further solidifies community ties and helps everyone have a greater sense of wellbeing. From here, productivity and happiness flourish and everyone wins.
Did you know that 75% of small businesses donate to charitable causes? Given the strength of their ties to the local community, you can easily bet that those charitable causes are far more likely to be homegrown than the ones funded by large corporations. Local sports clubs, schools, and care facilities often rely on donations from small businesses, and their contributions should never be underestimated.
Recirculation of Currency in the Local Economy
Small businesses generally also keep currency circulating within the community. When customers shop with small businesses and small business owners shop with other small businesses, more money circulates within the area. This benefits everyone as a thriving local economy stimulates growth, which in turn boosts the standard of living by increasing collective wealth.
Job Opportunities and Inclusivity
Speaking of increasing collective wealth, small businesses also create more jobs for the local community. This helps lower unemployment rates, further increasing the standard of living in the area and fostering inclusive workplaces and positive environments.
Small businesses don’t just create jobs – they also foster local education by providing leadership in the community and creating work experience opportunities. Students who undertake work experience in smaller companies are more likely to be exposed to more elements of the business. As a result, their educational opportunities are greatly improved.
Finally, and possibly most importantly for future generations, local businesses help improve sustainability within the area. Shorter transport distances, local procurement, and less waste all promote a lower carbon footprint. In turn, this creates a more environmentally friendly business community.
This can have flow-on effects as if there are enough small businesses within the area to provide everything locals need, they can essentially become a self-sufficient ecosystem, further benefiting locals and the planet.
Although it may at times seem more convenient to pop down to the nearest branch of your favorite franchise, your outing will provide more benefit to all involved if you instead visit a local small business. Know of other ways small businesses help their local communities? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.