Chain stores often attract customers with lower prices and bigger selections. They also gain a competitive advantage because they can afford to stay open longer hours and spend far more money on marketing. Nonetheless, many locally owned shops, restaurants and service providers continue to thrive in business. And they might be right for you. Find out why shopping local might be better for you.

1. The owner and family members of a small business possess greater decision-making power than employees of large companies. They also have more incentive to make their establishments succeed. As a result, they focus on satisfying customers more than following rigid policies. It’s easier for them to accept a return after 31 days, stay open an extra 15 minutes, or give you a bonus for remaining a loyal customer.

2. These retailers may offer goods that are unique or hard to find elsewhere. Some examples include artwork, rare books. and special meals or drinks. They are more inclined to customize products for specific individuals. A local eatery or store might also cater to the preferences of people in the surrounding region. On the other hand, national chain businesses tend to offer the same catalog or menu in most places.

3. You will probably travel shorter distances to reach locally owned establishments. They tend to be located closer to residential neighborhoods instead of highways and large shopping complexes. Shorter trips will help you save time and money. If a local shop is within walking distance, you may also be able to get some exercise in the process.

4. In some cases, goods from area businesses are fresher. They’re more likely to buy food from local farms or sell items that they have prepared on-site. This usually means that these products taste better and provide greater health benefits. Fresh items may take longer to spoil if they were produced recently and transported a short distance. They generally contain less preservatives and have fewer packaging materials.

5. If you buy local, it normally causes less harm to the natural environment. Supplies, products, staff. and customers all tend to travel shorter distances to reach these businesses. They often have downtown locations that are convenient for people who don’t drive cars. Family members and employees who know the owner of a local firm are less likely to engage in wasteful or ecologically damaging practices.

6. People at locally owned firms usually try to remember customers’ names, occupations, and personal preferences. For instance, you probably won’t have to describe the type of coffee that you order every day. In addition to saving time, this sort of familiarity creates a more friendly atmosphere. Customers frequently feel that small business owners appreciate their patronage more than huge corporations.

7. The staff at a local shop is often more knowledgeable about their products than people who work in chain stores. Major companies may have high employee turnover rates and merchandise that frequently changes. You have a better chance of finding people with long-term experience at a family-owned appliance dealer or hardware store. They are more likely to have a genuine interest in their industry.

8. Most businesses give money to charity, but local firms normally contribute more cash to organizations in your community. They often sponsor events, donate to food banks, or help the nearest homeless shelter pay its bills. Small businesses also collect donations for local causes. Large chains tend to assist regional or national nonprofits that are less likely to help people in your area.

9. When you buy local, a greater portion of the money will reach other locally owned companies and independent contractors. This may directly benefit you if you own or work for a nearby firm. For example, a local diner or health food store is more likely to purchase some of its ingredients from a farm in the area. It may also hire a nearby tax preparer.

10. You create and sustain employment in the places where you shop. If you travel to another city or use the Internet to make purchases, this happens elsewhere. Successful local businesses ensure that you, your family and friends can find jobs within a reasonable distance. If you get to know the owners, they might even hire you or help you gain employment. Lower jobless rates also reduce crime.

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