Local businesses bring diversity and charm to your community, but there is more to it than that. Each local coffee shop, supermarket, bank, and other business brings not only identity and personality to their community, but also practical benefits, such as financial and charitable contributions. Local businesses match the values and characteristics of their communities and give back as they grow and succeed.
Give back to the community
One common way that a local business can positively impact the community is through the community. Local businesses and their communities depend on each other to be successful, and businesses can foster good relationships with their communities by giving back.
Remuneration can take various forms. One way is to run a charity drive, find a nonprofit to partner with to raise money for a local cause. Some companies lend their time, skills, and space to their community by leading or participating in community development initiatives. For example, an employee at a local business might give a presentation to high school students about career paths in their field, or a team from your business might oversee the development of a community garden.
Create a unique community identity
A block of local businesses has much greater cultural value than commercial franchises. Each small business brings a measure of unique character to the community, and long-established local businesses eventually become part of the community’s identity, history, and culture.
Unlike large companies, small business owners are members of the community and, as such, establish more meaningful relationships with their customers. Communities pride themselves on their unique culture and identity, and appreciate local businesses in which they feel personally involved as customers and employees. For example, in one survey, 32% of workers said that “feeling like family” was the best part of working for a small business and that their happiness is something or very important to their employer.
Contribute to the economic health of the community
Local businesses benefit the economic health of their communities in different ways. As a business becomes more successful and profitable, this success is recycled back into the local economy. And because local businesses pay local taxes, a portion of their income goes directly back to the community.
Rather than sourcing products from large corporations, local businesses can support each other when looking for services and goods. Not only does this foster better business relationships, it keeps money within the community, where less goes to shareholders for profit and more goes to business growth.
As companies become more successful, they create more jobs. Small businesses have created 8.4 million new jobs since 2000 , 4 million more than large companies. The workers employed by these companies will spend their community money, thus promoting business growth and contributing to local economic development.
Inspire, innovate and compete
As a local business grows and is successful, other members of the community may be inspired to start their own business. When those new businesses grow, they create competition and the need for innovation. The result is a diverse set of local businesses that strive to meet the needs of the community in unique ways.
Small businesses can also provide community hiring opportunities, thereby teaching people the skills necessary to eventually run their own local business.
Promote respect for the environment
Local businesses tend to have more of an environmental and infrastructure impact than large businesses. While large developments can clear environmentally valuable and sensitive land for corporate stores, small businesses can generally take advantage of original or remodeled historic buildings. Also, 50% of small businesses can be operated from home.
A small business block also has better pedestrian breathability than large scattered retailers. Customers and employees can walk and bike to businesses more easily, reducing traffic emissions and improving air quality.
Local retailers and manufacturers can also produce, access, and distribute goods in more sustainable ways. Manufacturers can access their materials locally, restaurants can source their food and supplies from community-owned farms, and businesses can distribute their products locally. All scraps represent much lower emissions from transportation and freight.
Local businesses benefit their community in many unique ways, giving back to the community as they grow and succeed, thereby reinforcing a cyclical relationship that promotes local economic, cultural, and environmental well-being.