We've all heard the line "small businesses are the backbone of our economy" so many times that it almost sounds cliche. But the truth of that simple statement has never been more apparent.
Local businesses do so much more than sell us goods. They sponsor our sports teams, donate to local organizations, and introduce our youth to the "working world." They take homogeneous suburbs and turn them into hometowns. Take away our local businesses and you take away everything that makes our communities worth living in.
Have a look at this article from the Institute for Local Self Reliance to get an idea of just how important our mom and pop shops truly are. To sum up their findings,
Local businesses offer stronger per capita income growth, faster employment growth, and lower poverty rates. Local business have been linked to decreased rates of inequality. Local businesses fuel more job creation and generate more tax revenue at a lower public cost. Local businesses foster community cohesion and well-being. And finally, local businesses reduce pollution and improve environmental sustainability.
So, what can you do to give back to the local businesses that provide so much for your community?
It's simple, and equally as cliche as the opening line of this article. Buy local. Buy local every chance you get.
We all need to shop at major retailers once in a while. But when you spend a dollar at a big-box store, the majority of that dollar immediately leaves your hometown. When you choose instead to spend that dollar at a local business, your community benefits from a stronger "multiplier effect," meaning that a portion of that dollar will generate a greater amount of economic activity right there in your hometown. And moreover, when you shop local, that business will have the funds necessary to make your community a great place to live.
So, how do you shop local when you're stuck in your home? How do you support small businesses when you simply don't have the time to drive from one to the other? How do you choose local products when retailers mark-up the prices to the point that they become luxuries?
That's why we're here. We save you money by creating a direct connection between you and your local producer (no need for an expensive middleman). We save you time by bringing all of those great local products into one place. We do all of this because we know the value of local business and the important role they play in building community.
Here's what you can do to help your local businesses right now:
- Buy Local: Next time you need something at the grocery store, see if we have it here on Gathered first. If not, send us a note, we would love to know what you're looking for. If we don't have it, or you're out of our delivery range, choose another local supplier. Virtually every small food business is currently looking for a way to connect. Seek them out and they'll never forget it.
- Spread the Word When you understand the importance of small business, it's hard to keep it to yourself. You'll want to encourage everyone you know to choose local - and you should! Tell your neighbors about the great local businesses you've found on Gathered. The more people we can have supporting our local businesses, the more likely our local businesses are to thrive!
- Refer a Local Business: Do you know a local business that would be perfect on Gathered? Do you know someone dreaming of starting a food-business side hustle? Send them our way. We'll help them get set up and we'll do everything we can to help make their dream a success.
We started Gathered as a way of bringing locally-produced food straight to your doorstep. With your support, we've been able to sustain some of the local businesses that have done so much for our communities in the past. So, keep choosing local and keep spreading the word every chance you get!