The rise of corporate chain stores has had a profound effect on society. Rather than walking a couple blocks to a familiar shop, we drive miles to reach stand-alone super-centers inaccessible by foot. And instead of paying a fair price on items of lasting value, we invest in items of poor quality, impulsively giving ourselves over to supposed “sales” and “discounts”, which merely cost us in the long run.
Despite the clutter of chain stores, there remains a future for independent business, and investing in small businesses in your town or city reaps many benefits for yourself and your community.
Despite the claims by chain stores that they provide customers with a wider variety of products, you’ll likely find a better selection when browsing specialty boutiques. Giant retail stores cater the masses and have a limited range in item diversity. Beyond that, products sold on a local level are often finely crafted, not mass produced. Aside from the social-ecological benefits, hand crafted and small-scale production allow for better quality in materials and method. Rendering items more durable and of higher worth.
When considering food and dining, local fare can be praised for the optimal quality of ingredients used. Whether it is a local grocer, farm, or a restaurant whose menu derives from local harvests, local food contains fresher ingredients than you will encounter at corporate eateries and supermarkets. This can mainly be attributed to fewer food miles, as produce is gathered from organic farms near town. Not coated in pesticides to be shipped cross-country.
Unlike the generalized assistance received at chain stores, local businesses provide you with the consultation of an expert. For many small business owners, their work is their life. Often prestigious in their trade, they also posses in-depth knowledge about the products and services they offer. As such, not only do you receive services customized to your own needs, but any tasks will be performed with enthusiasm and precision.
Improves Local Infrastructure
To put it simply, small businesses create more jobs. Additionally, the jobs are rooted in the community, making them more stable than positions lost due to the migration of large corporations.
Above all, successful communities are social and economical collaborations among neighbors. Small businesses work with local charities, organize community events, and often handle their funds through local banks. This keeps both social bonds and economic growth within the local circuit.
Strengthens community relationships
In addition to building strong bonds within you specific sphere of employment, you’ll create connections with a vast, diverse network of local workers and services.
When you work for a local business, you are likely to become part of a second family, building strong bonds with your employer and small pool of fellow co-workers. Relationships of this respect allow for an open dialogue so that you not only meet the expectations of your boss, but are able to collaborate with them as well. You’ll also be better exposed to the essential operations of the business than you would at branches of country-wide retail. This may develop your appreciation for the services you help provide, and allow you to witness first-hand the skills and perseverance required to keep small business operations afloat; all of which enhances your satisfaction with your work.
Adds Character to a Town or City
People travel across the county just for a glimpse at a region’s landmarks and cushion their memories with the quirks and lore grounded in the region’s storefronts and pedestrian-worn arteries. With the installation of super-sized retailers within the world’s grand cities, such charms begin to diminish.
If cities are to retain their ranks as desirable destinations, they need to preserve the unique components that earned them their prosperous reputations in the first place. Why travel to Michigan Avenue just to visit a GAP that bares little difference from the one at the edge of town?
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