This week is Small Business Week, and with it people are celebrating by heading out to their local store showing their support. But, shopping small doesn't have to cost more money, there are plenty of ways you can actually save money by shopping small and local!
Whether it’s the nationally recognized, locally grown Go-Local Card, or other home-grown versions, small businesses rely on repeat customers and often provide discounts or incentives. My local health shop gives $25 off of every $200 spent, and several cafes and ice cream shops have a punch card where I can either get the 10th item free or have a dollar amount towards a purchase.
During my time in Boston, 10 different cafes got together to form a disloyalty card in which you visited 10 different local cafes and got a free drink from the place of your choice! As an avid coffee drinker, I got to explore my city, enjoy great coffee and get to know a few more cafes with a free drink to boot.
Facebook is a great way to save money at a local shop. Since social is the new word-of-mouth, local shops know that a social presence is vital to their business. Eager to cut printing costs and endenger social chatter, small businesses share coupons on Facebook, their blog and/or newsletter. Liking any small business on Facebook or singing up for their newsletter is an easy way to save money.
Service and Expertise
One of the best ways to save money in general is to buy something you actually want which we call smart spending. Whether you’re looking for a bike, a kitchen appliance, wine or a gift, local businesses owners are experts, able to provide relevant information with great attention. They also know that your experience is key to returning to buy more, so now you have two things working in the favor of an unbeatable experience.
Also, since 100% of the decision-making comes from their authority, they can price match, lower a price (if you ask nicely!) or even give a discount on a large purchase. When I worked at a local toy store in college the owner would often take 20% off of every purchase for his loyal customers - no coupon needed!
Everyone benefits from a healthy community. Shopping locally makes your money mean more because it boosts the economy. According to The New Economics Foundation, "local purchases are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive," because the money spent buys local and stays local. Just how much? About 70% of the money spent in local shops stays in the community as opposed to 46% when you shop at chains like Walmart.
Remember that franchises are also locally owned, so shopping local doesn’t mean frequenting Ye Olde French Boutique. Some of the most popular franchises are Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway, Quiznos, Coldstone Creamery, Super8 Motel, Days Inn, Chick-Fil-A, In-N-Out Burger and lots more.
What are some ways you save money shopping small?