2/24/11

5 +1 really good reasons to...

6 Really Good Reasons to Shop Independent Businesses

Buy Small, Get Big: 6 Reasons You Should Support Independent Business Owners

At Noblivity, the goal is to support small brands, up-and-coming designers, and independently owned businesses. Independent and small business owners employ over 90% of workers in the US (US Small Business Advocate), and given the current economic climate, that is a statistic worth supporting. Here are six more reasons why we all should be supporting the little guy.

- It creates our own economic stimulus plan. Supporting independent businesses will ensure that your dollars stay in our economy, and don’t go overseas for wages for factory workers or to bonuses for international corporations. Additionally, independently owned businesses employ workers outside their field – construction to build stores, laborers to make the goods, which has a ripple effect across the nation. Supporting a local designer has the added benefit of returning your money to the local economy, possibly providing a job for your neighbor or friend.

- It’s greener. Independent and local businesses don’t need to ship their goods halfway across the world to get them to you. They don’t need to use environmentally unfriendly transportation – chances are they might be around the corner from you. Consumer culture gets a bad rap a lot of the time. If you like to shop, sometimes you can be made to feel like you are personally wasting our natural resources. Supporting independent shops has the opposite effect. Small businesses tend to use local, renewable resources, which helps all of us live more in sync with our environment.

- Support American ingenuity. The American dream of “you can be anything you want to be” can seem out of reach for corporate drones working for a boss they never see. Independent businesses support the spirit and creativity that made our country great. When someone loves their job, the quality of work shines through. Purchasing a lovingly made, high quality item means you won’t be replacing it next year when the strap has broken off or the material is shredding – which leads back to our previous point about living greener. On top of that, if you support local businesses, you’ll never have to worry about having the same purse, or dress, or shoes as someone else, everything you own will be unique!

- Diversity is the spice of life. Ever notice that the “big box” stores always seem to cater to the lowest common denominator? If you’d like a specialty item, good luck finding it in a chain store. Independent businesses understand the needs of their target customers and aren’t concerned with pandering to all consumers as a whole. Independent businesses can also be more free to voice dissenting opinions than a large corporation. Diversity of opinions brings about more acceptance and tolerance – who would suspect that shopping can bring about social change?

- Monopolies are illegal for a reason. When one company controls the production and sale of products from make-up to car parts, they can also control what they charge. But when there is competition, there are also competitive prices. That makes independent businesses the backbone of capitalism. And just as in nature diversity means there is a species for each niche, businesses can start to find their own niches – which means better products for everyone.

- Invest in future generations. So many wealthy families earned their money because a parent or grandparent owned their own business, worked grueling hours, and fought to become a mainstay in the American economy. If independently owned businesses go the way of the dodo and tasmanian wolf, who will become the leaders and investors for our children and grandchildren? International corporations say that they create jobs, but they also create a vicious cycle of the working poor who can never afford to educate their children.

Jillian Gile is a guest blogger for Pounding the Pavement and a writer on the subject of technical schools for the Guide to Career Education.



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