With all the hype over Cyber Monday and Black Friday, it’s easy to get swept into promotions by big-box stores and super chains. But before you head to the mall this holiday season to stand in line for that deeply discounted doo-dad, consider the consequences. Not only will the process be tedious and stressful, but retailers offer those door-buster deals knowing that having gotten a bargain, you’re more likely to spend money on other items, including ones you don’t really need.
According to Michael Dixon, Executive Vice President, Salisbury Bank, “Here's a better idea: relax and forget the stress by shopping at one of the many local stores in your community. You may not find the lowest prices in the universe, but you'll get lots of other benefits, both tangible and intangible.”
Here are a few:
1. Significantly more money re-circulates in our community.
Local business owners often purchase from other nearby businesses, service providers and farms, spreading out the benefit and keeping your money in the community.
2. Local businesses support their communities.
Local business owners donate more to local charities and support more community-based efforts than chains. They are owned by people who live in the community, and are more invested in the community's future. They also contribute more to the local tax base, benefiting everyone in town.
3. Local business is more "green".
While ordering online is convenient, each item arriving at your door represents another truck on the road. Local businesses make more local purchases, requiring less transportation, and they require comparatively little infrastructure and more efficiently utilize public services relative to chain stores. They also usually set up shop in town centers rather than on the fringe, contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
4. Local businesses create most new jobs.
Small local businesses are the nation's largest employers. The person "fulfilling" your order probably lives locally, not thousands of miles away.
5. Customer service is better.
Anyone who has tried to get waited on in a big-box store during the holidays or to deal with customer service on the phone can attest how much easier – and more pleasant – it is to deal with a shop owner or their employee. Plus, local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise for better customer service.
The bottom line is that shopping local makes you feel good – about yourself, your purchases and your community. It also gives you the opportunity to buy unusual, unique, special or handcrafted products – perfect for holiday gifts.
Finally, consider this: studies show that entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
And isn't that kind of why you chose your community in the first place?
Salisbury Bancorp, Inc., is the parent company of Salisbury Bank and Trust Company, a full-service community bank headquartered in Lakeville, Connecticut which presently operates full service branches in Canaan, Lakeville, Salisbury and Sharon, Connecticut, Sheffield and South Egremont, Massachusetts as well as Dover Plains and Millerton, New York. The Bank has been serving families and businesses for 160 years and offers a full range of consumer and business banking products and services as well as trust and wealth advisory services.
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Kurhan