Support for local businesses stimulates local economy

Every time I walk in to American Donuts, affectionately known as No. 2’s, and see the owner, Sam, with his giant grin greeting me as I consider which high-calorie delicacy I should gorge on, I am reminded of the importance of supporting local businesses.

Local businesses are the beating heart of any thriving city — they provide resources for a city to grow.

Locally owned businesses contribute to the community by giving back to it. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance confirmed that non-profit organizations received 250 percent more funding from local businesses than from nationally owned businesses.

They also give back by donating time and resources to community members or organizations in need.

Money spent at local businesses tends to stay within the community, as the owners are city residents, not corporate bigwigs who reside thousands of miles away.

This money stimulates local economy because the owners are able to spend the money earned by supporting other local businesses. And so, the economic circle of life continues.

Local businesses are able to determine the cost of their products and can decide to offer products at a discounted price. The reason that Sam is able to sneak an extra donut or two into your bag free of charge is because he owns the business.

Local businesses are also better able to restock your favorite items for purchase, as your requests are more likely to be given to the buyers directly.

That super cute skirt that they don’t have in your size? Yeah, your local clothing retailer can totally order it for you. Just ask.

Local businesses are well- known for their excellent customer service because, unlike large businesses, the owners are often the ones who hire employees, and are thus able to select employees who will best represent the company.

According to SustainableConnections.org, locally owned businesses create the most jobs nationally, providing community members with more job opportunities.

Supporting local business doesn’t just benefit you, the businesses profit just as much. Local business owners are more in touch with their customers and the community at large because they are a part of it.

So whenever you go to your favorite cafe, clothing retailer, candle shop or pizzeria, you are able to build personal relationships with the staff members making you more likely to continue shopping there.

Customer loyalty is the thing that makes the business world go ’round.

Riverside is a hub for fun, unique and interesting local businesses. We are lucky to be surrounded by so many opportunities to support locally owned businesses.

Often students are supporting local businesses without even realizing it.

Students unwittingly contribute to growing the local economy every time they buy a cup of coffee from Lift or spend a date night at Las Campanas at the Mission Inn.

Local businesses offer more variety and provide unique products and opportunities, so it’s not surprising that students have embraced them.

Frequenting hole-in-the- wall coffee shops doesn’t just feed your inner hipster, it sup- ports your community’s economy. And nothing’s better than that.

About Destinee McCulley

Opinion Editor, Co-Distribution Manager

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