Most people in Casper would probably agree that it’s better to shop local than from a a national big-box chain or online retailer. Despite this fact many still find themselves wandering the aisles of Walmart or filling their online cart full of items that could be found closer to home.
Sometimes it’s to save a few dollars, or maybe because its convenient to find everything in one place and have it delivered to your door. However, here are 5 reasons you should consider making more of your purchases from local area merchants, especially during the holiday season:
- Economic Stimulus- Shopping at locally owned establishments can leverage community funds 3x on average. For example, local businesses use local attorneys, tax preparers, printers, and other ancillary services much more often than larger corporations that typically outsource such work.
- Job Creation- Wyoming small businesses employ 62% of the private workforce in the Cowboy state. According to the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies every $10 million of spending at local businesses create 57 jobs. The same spending at Amazon creates only 14 jobs.
- Greater support for nonprofits- According to the Seattle Good Business Network, small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to nonprofits. They donate more items for auctions, sponsor local sports teams, and build more partnerships in their community. With nearly 200 nonprofits in the Natrona County area the support from small businesses is essential for them to continue providing their much needed services.
- Better for the environment- Independent retailers often source locally-produced goods. This requires less transportation, consumption of fuel, and use of roadways. They are also more efficient with their land use, generating twice as much sales activity per square foot of floor space compared to chains and online stores.
- Higher quality product and customer service- Local merchants are often extremely knowledgeable about the products they sell and can answer questions before you make your purchase. This sort of assistance can be far more valuable than online reviews, which over the years have succumbed to heavy manipulation. Local products also tend to be higher quality, more reliable, and have longer lifespans than mass produced products sold by chains where emphasis is typically placed on cheapness and convenience.
It’s not always going to be the case that you can find what you need from a locally-owned independent business. We all have to utilize the big box retail chains and online stores from time to time. However, next time you are contemplating making a purchase keep in mind these 5 reasons to shop local. Ask yourself whether the convenience or cost savings outweigh all the other potential benefits of keeping those dollars here in the community.
Friendly reminder, many downtown Casper businesses are participating in “Late ‘Till 8“, so stop in after work on Thursday (12/19) to help wrap up your Christmas gift purchases!