They care about the well-being of their community and its future and are committed to it. Local businesses are more accountable to their local communities and donate more money to non-profit organizations. Supporting local businesses is good for the environment because they tend to have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies. Residents of neighborhoods with more local businesses have 26 percent fewer driving miles.
Locally owned businesses make more local purchases that require less transportation and settle in city or city centers, which generally means less expansion, congestion, habitat loss and pollution. If it is necessary to send supplies or equipment to create the product, that can offset any benefit of creating or growing the product locally. After all, most businesses started out as small local businesses and earned the success of growing and expanding. When asked to name his favorite local business, local retail consultant Allison Barta Bailey compares him to a parent who is asked to choose his favorite son.
Local ownership means that important decisions are made by people who live in the community and feel the impact of those decisions. Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more committed to the well-being and future of the community. It's a fact that businesses respond to their customers, but your values and desires influence businesses in your local community much more than big box stores. Local businesses tend to hire people with a better understanding of the products they sell and spend more time getting to know their customers, customers and patrons.
Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger portion of their revenues into the local economy, enriching the entire community. Study after study (like this one in New Orleans) shows that buying from an independent, locally owned company is much better for the local economy than buying from non-local companies. Buying locally also means you know a little more about quality control; you know that certain products have been produced in a way that meets strict regional and national standards. Local businesses donate more per dollar of sales to nonprofit organizations, events and local teams compared to national networks.
Buying local products is promoted as the best way to be environmentally friendly and, at the same time, support local communities. When you spend money on a local company, they spend it back on the local economy at a much higher rate than chains, which send most of your money anywhere where the corporate headquarters are located.