Small Business Saturday is a relatively new concept. It is on this day that we want to celebrate and support our member businesses and other small businesses in Massachusetts.
For CABA, small businesses are a “mission critical” piece of our identity. We are a business association with a history – and a goal – of supporting small business owners throughout the state on sustainability and climate change-related policy issues.
As an organization that works with small businesses every day, we see firsthand the powerful effects of shopping local. So, in the spirit of Small Business Saturday, we wanted to share with you why we think shopping local is a no-brainer:
1) You’ll help keep money in the local economy. The generally accepted convention is that the value return of money spent at a nearby small business creates a greater positive impact on the local economy. Rather than money flowing out to organizations and people in other areas, it stays “closer to home”, revitalizing neighborhoods. This effectively facilitates a robust local economy while supporting neighbors who runs small businesses.
“Organizations like Cambridge Local Firsts promote camaraderie between fellow business owners, and that’s good because money spent within the community stays in the community. You can spend money with the large corporation, but then it leaves your community. The more money we spend locally in essence allows people in the neighborhood to have more money, which means they can afford a local [service provider] instead of doing it themselves, which means it then comes back to us.” -Ezekiel Wheeler, Intelligent Labor & Moving Company
2) Shopping local hits the triple bottom line. While the term sustainability carries with it a heavy environmental connotation, there is a social and financial aspect to it, as well. A catchphrase often used in-conjunction with sustainability is the “triple bottom line”. It helps people and organizations take a more holistic look (financial, social, & environmental) at the potential outcomes of their actions and how best to address them. So when you shop, try and think about how your purchase affects the community around you.
3) Less travel means less climate impact. Looking for products that are made in geographical areas close to your home is generally a good thing for the environment. Because the distance between the manufacturer and the store is shorter, less fuel is used in transport, and subsequently the product has a smaller carbon footprint. We must do everything we can to lessen our impact on the climate, as we are quickly approaching a dangerous level of warming. Localizing our economy is a key component of climate action.
There’s a myriad of additional reasons and research on the benefits of shopping local, and these are just a few among them. As appealing as it is to wake up at 4am and hop in an hours-long line at a big box store this Black Friday, we hope we have compelled you to visit your neighborhood mom-and-pop shop instead. So, this Saturday, make a commitment to the sustainability of your community and shop local.
Happy Small Business Saturday Shopping!