Our new production artist Brad Kercheval shares his views on working with local companies. 

As you drive through the average city, you’ll probably notice a variety of small “mom and pop” shops offering an assortment of services to the public. From lawn mower repair shops to farmers’ markets, these small businesses give unique character to cities all over America. Like many folks, you may be wondering, “What’s so great about mom and pop shops anyway?” or “How do those shops affect me?” I think shopping locally benefits and strengthens our communities. Here’s why you should shop local.

They Provide Better Service

Typically, because of their size and involvement in the community, small businesses are able to offer more individualized service to their customers. Often times, it’s our neighbors and friends who are hired and trained to work. As a result, the service is more friendly and personal than you might receive at a large franchise store. These businesses survive by their reputation and repeat business. For instance, take a look at the local group of Realtors at Home to Indy.  They pride themselves in knowing the local Indianapolis market in a personal way, because they live and work locally.

They Retain Community Distinctiveness

Small businesses are able to set themselves apart from the chain stores by providing unique shopping experiences and by stocking products that meet the needs of local customers. Small business owners are more likely to participate and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinguishing personality. These one-of-a-kind businesses also have their history woven into the very fabric of our cities. Tish Flooring, for example, has been a family business in Indianapolis for over one hundred years! Tish sets themselves apart from the big box stores by giving their clients a personal experience.

They Strengthen our Local Economy

According to American Independent Business Alliance “48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses was recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores.” When the new barbershop, Bello Centro, in Carmel throws a Grand Opening party on April 18th, they’ll be gathering support by handing out party favors full of coupons and special offers from the other shops near them. They understand the importance of supporting the community around them and that their success depends on the success of those around them. When small business owners are financially stable, they are able to settle into the community and reinvest money into local charities, schools, and community events.

Small businesses are owned and operated by people in our community. When we spend our money in local shops, we are providing a way for the members in our community to succeed and prosper. A few years ago, Lorraine gave a presentation about the impact of shopping local.

When you have a choice where do you shop local? What are your favorite local business spots?

And before you shop, go out and meet other business owners at networking events.  Not sure where to start? Download our networking guide.