As a locally-owned and operated credit union, we see firsthand the value of Buy Local and Shop Small. As you are doing your holiday shopping this season, we encourage you to consider supporting the local shops right here in our community!
According to a Michigan State study, small local businesses are the largest employers nationally and create two out of every three new jobs. This means that overall more Americans work for a company with fewer than 100 employees than for a large retailer, with more than 500 employees.
Small businesses have played a vital role in job creation, adding more than 5.1 million new jobs to our economy since 2003. Buying locally means that employment levels are more likely to be stable, and may even create more opportunities for local residents to work in the community.
“We see the impacts of this firsthand at the credit union,” said David Murphy, VP of Finance & Risk. “Shopping local is a great way to support our local community.”
As the study notes, when dollars are spent locally, they can in turn be re-spent locally. This increases economic activity, pays more salaries, and strengthens the local tax base. In addition, locally owned businesses contribute more to local charities and fundraisers than do their national counterparts.
“This means that when you shop local, not only are you supporting that business – you are also supporting the greater community,” said Murphy. “It’s really a win-win situation for everyone.”
A community where large chains exceed the number of independently run small businesses becomes less personal and homogenized, with less product diversity. When you shop local, you’re supporting unique products that foster a community identity.
“National businesses have a role in every economy, but locally-owned and operated businesses generate greater local economic activity,” said Murphy. “There are also periphery benefits, such as being more eco-friendly, having better customer service, keeping tax dollars local, and promoting entrepreneurship.”
Feel free to check out the full study here [external link]!