When my kids were young, after school they walked from their middle school to my husband’s office in the village. They strolled past a small grocery store, past the coffee shop and past the drug store–all locally-owned businesses.
One day, I stopped at the drug store before picking up the kids at the office. The pharmacist proceeded to tell me that my kids had stopped in for an after school snack. He mentioned that he ordered my favorite type of natural toothpaste, and added that my best friend had just been in to pick up birthday cards. The pharmacist took a sincere interest in all the village happenings. In fact, it wasn’t just him, most of the merchants in the village created relationships with the neighborhood.
I conveyed this story to one of my teaching colleagues the next day and she sadly shook her head, lamenting that her only pharmacy choice was a CVS in the mall. Her small town had been stripped of its downtown and replaced by a big mall.
This story may seem cliché, but local shops offer services and products that cannot be found at the mall. Consider these 10 reasons to ditch the mall:
10 Reasons To Ditch The Mall And Shop Local
1. Reduce Environmental Footprint
2. Strengthen Your Community
Local businesses build strong neighborhoods. People are more likely to connect and make contributions.
3. Support Local Decisions
Support local business decisions, as those choices impact the community.
4. Strengthen Local Economy
Shopping locally helps create jobs, and invests in neighborhood improvements that promote community development.
5. Create Jobs and Preserve Living Wages
At the local level, jobs are created. In some instances, small businesses provide better wages and benefits than big-box chain stores.
6. Preserve Local Culture
Local art and history are preserved and kept alive. Big-box chain stores tend to be devoid of cultural value.
Fostering an entrepreneurial spirit contributes to the economic foundation of communities and allows those with low-wage jobs to advance.
8. Foster Creative Product Diversity
Small stores can bring more innovative handcrafted items. Big mall stores limit the incentive for creative product ideas.
9. Small Businesses Create Inventory for Local Shoppers
Local shops can offer services and products based upon the interests and needs of their customers. Large chain stores depend on national sales plans. This provides a more generic product.
10. Preserve Local Character
Help create and celebrate a community culture by purchasing local goods.
Do you shop local?
For more, check out Smart Growth America.
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