fbpx The local purchasing movement has grown over the past few years to the point that “Buy Local” stickers can be seen frequently on cars outside of the Whole Foods parking lot. Farmers markets have been revived, niche bookstores have opened their doors while larger chains have failed, and buying organic food from the co-op down the road has become popular. At the same time, independent retailers have been able to gain traction against big-box retailers by using upgraded technology to run their stores. Social media has evened the advertising playing field in the same way, enabling smaller retailers to compete for buyers’ attention. Even so, independent stores face more threats than ever. Showrooming plagues brick-and-mortar stores since almost every product imaginable is available on the internet, and customers ruthlessly compare prices to find the best bargain. So why shouldn’t you do the same? Here are a few reasons to support businesses within your community: 1. For every $1 spent at local businesses, $0.45 is reinvested locally. 2. Shopping locally creates jobs for the people in your community. 3. It helps the environment and lowers your community’s carbon footprint. Save some gas and try biking or walking to the nearest store. (Or rollerblading, if that’s your thing.) 4. People value relationships. Big-box stores may save all your preferences, but it just doesn’t compare to the face-to-face conversation you have with your local pet store owner about your new puppy. 5. Want running shoes? Your local shoe store owner will study your gait, analyze your stability, recommend a selection of shoes, and assist you in choosing the perfect, personalized shoe for your foot. Can a website do that? 6. You earn the right to answer “this amazing little boutique in town” to the question “Where did you get that dress?” Somehow, “online” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.