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Why It’s Important To Support Local, Small Business

Have you ever walked around your neighborhood and been bummed out that there are no cute stores near you? Well if you buy everything online or from a big box discount retailer then you are probably contributing to that fact. WHY? Because online merchants tend to only compete on price, and the fact is, most small business with a physical location can’t compete on price because they have higher costs because they are paying for rent in a desirable area rather than just a warehouse in an industrial part of town (which is how a lot of internet retailers operate.) Also, it costs more to have the in-person help of a shop keeper vs. the complete lack of a human involved in the interaction of an online retailer. If you don’t support local, small businesses, then the fact is they will CEASE to exist.

ALSO, if you are buying everything online, chances are you aren’t paying sales tax. If you aren’t paying sales tax, then your CITY and STATE don’t get the benefit of that sales which means less money for parks, roads, schools, libraries, etc. And if you aren’t buying IN your CITY then you are also denying sales tax to your local area. Many cities, including Los Angeles, literally divide up the money based on where the money is spent. So if you live in one area but spend all your money in another area, then your tax money is going to that area. So while it’s nice to drive to one of the big, developed shopping area, the fact is that your local schools, libraries, etc. won’t see the benefit of that money. Conventional wisdom says that 45-cents of every dollar stays local when you buy from local businesses vs 10-cents of every dollar, but if you buy from businesses with headquarters in Arkansas or Minnesota or wherever, then you are sending your money to THOSE states, not to yours.

During these difficult economic times it can be tempting to purchase things JUST based on price. However, it’s important to think through the ramifications of your decisions. If someday the only stores that are around are the FORTUNE 500 stores and the Internet, it’ll be because there wasn’t enough value placed on the benefits of a small, local store. Do we really want to live in a world where you can’t just walk around the corner to pick something up?

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