Supporting local businesses is vital for the health and prosperity of our communities. It is often thought that investing in large corporations is the best way to improve our economy and create jobs, but this is not always the case. Supporting local businesses can be way more meaningful than many of us realize.
One major benefit of supporting local businesses is that it helps to keep money in our communities. When we shop at large corporations, much of the money we spend leaves our community and goes toward the bottom line of the corporation. When individuals or businesses purchase goods or services from large corporations, much of the money they spend goes towards the corporation’s profits, which are then distributed among the company’s shareholders and executives. This can lead to a situation where wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small group of people, rather than being distributed throughout the community. This is how the rich get richer.
Additionally, large corporations often have a significant amount of decision-making power, which can result in a lack of investment in local businesses and communities and limited opportunities for economic growth. Large corporations may also outsource manufacturing, production, and other jobs to other countries, resulting in losing jobs and economic opportunities in the local communities. Another issue to consider when shopping at large corporations is that they often have a global supply chain and may source their goods from places where labor is cheaper. As a result, workers in these places may be paid low wages and lack basic labor rights, which can contribute to low living standards, poverty, and even human rights violations. In contrast, when we shop at local businesses, the money we spend is more likely to be re-circulated within our community, helping to create jobs and stimulate the local economy.
Another essential aspect of supporting local businesses is that it helps to preserve the unique character and culture of our communities. Large corporations, with their standardized approach to doing business, can often lead to a homogenization of our communities, resulting in a loss of the unique and diverse aspects that make them special. In contrast, local businesses are more likely to be connected to their communities, they often have a deeper understanding of the community’s needs, history, and culture. They are invested in preserving their community’s unique character and culture by providing products and services that reflect the community’s identity and values. Moreover, local businesses often have a personal relationship with their customers, they tend to be more responsive to customers’ specific needs and preferences and this helps to promote a sense of community that’s harder to achieve when dealing with a faceless corporation. With local businesses, you are more likely to find products and services that are specific to your community and that can’t be found elsewhere.
Beyond the economic benefits, supporting local businesses also impacts the environment. Local companies tend to be more sustainable; they are less likely to engage in environmentally harmful practices and more likely to source their products and materials from local suppliers. In contrast, large corporations may have a different level of accountability and may prioritize profit over sustainability. An example of this is those in the fossil fuel industry. These corporations may prioritize profit over sustainability due to the nature of their business model. They are accountable to their shareholders and are under pressure to maximize profits, which may result in a lack of investment in sustainable practices and technology. The fossil fuel industry is a significant contributor to climate change, and the burning of fossil fuels is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming and climate change.
After gaining an understanding of the importance of our local community, you may be pondering on how to contribute. The answer is very straightforward: be mindful of where you spend. Instead of opting for Amazon, consider visiting the corner store when you crave a snack during flex. Additionally, if you’re seeking some variety, take a cue from our fellow students who have shared their favorite hidden gems with us. Ramses, a student from the class of 2024, swears by Hot Mamas Pizza, claiming that their pizza is “twice as good as Pagliaccis.” Colin 26’, another student, recommends Paparespas Venezuelan Food, describing the food as “absolutely delicious.” Finally, Finn, who is also from the class of 2026, passionately endorses Rancho Bravo. According to him, their tacos de birria and horchata are legendary and remind him of his childhood. “Go to Rancho Bravo immediately and buy these two things. It’s life-changing,” he exclaimed. These are three excellent, affordable, and locally owned establishments that you should check out and support.
Supporting local businesses is not just about where you spend your money, it is about investing in the health and prosperity of our communities. It is about preserving the unique character and culture of our communities, supporting sustainable practices, and promoting a sense of community. By choosing to support local businesses, we are helping to build a stronger, more resilient, and more vibrant economy. So next time you are shopping, think about the deeper meanings and implications of your choices and consider supporting local businesses instead of funding large corporations.