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10 Great Reasons to Shop at Local, Independent Businesses

Brian England, Mon, Oct 14, 2013

As a local business, we know firsthand, just how important it is to have (and provide) community support.  By nature, auto shops typically draw customers from the local residential and business communities.  I don’t know of many people who ship their car somewhere to get service!  But, there are other local businesses where people do really have a choice as to whether or not to shop local.  I was in a toy store the other day, and they were passing out a handout that thanked their customers for shopping local and let them know how it helped them and their community.   I loved the idea, and so, I’m spreading the word. Here are ten great reasons to “Go Local” from an auto repair shop’s perspective!

When you support local businesses, here’s what you do

  1. local recirculation of revenue 3 to 1 for indies vs chainsMore of your money benefits the local economy.  Most studies show that when you shop at a local business, two to three times more money gets recirculated back into the local economy versus when you shop at a national chain.  It’s called the “multiplier effect” or the “local economic premium”.  There have been more than ten different studies that show this same pattern.  In fact, taking all the studies into account, we see that national chains (like Barnes & Noble, The Home Depot, Office Max, and Target) only recirculated about $14 into the local economy for every $100 spent.  This compares to $48 of every $100 being pumped back into the economy by independent businesses.
  2. You support uniqueness and diversity.  Have you ever traveled to a new town, looking for some local flavor, only to find the same old chain shops?  Walked into a community where every house looked alike?  When we have a multiplicity of independent businesses, there’s just a greater chance that some of the items offered will be unique and different. Even though independents may have a smaller selection, when considered as a group they expand our options.   If we just rely on a few buyers from large corporations to make all the decisions, our choices will be drastically reduced. When businesses have the opportunity to distinguish themselves it enriches our experience, increases our options and broadens our horizons.
  3. You create local jobs. Did you know that in some industries, local businesses are better at creating higher paying jobs than national businesses?  They invest more of their revenue in local labor, in part, because all of the upper management functions are local rather than at a remote corporate headquarter location.  Additionally, they rely on local expertise and specialists like lawyers, advertising agencies and accountants, further increasing local income potential.
  4. You help the environment.  By shopping local, you’re conserving energy in the form of fuel because you don’t have to travel to or have something shipped from someplace far away.  You can also save on materials associated with shipping items individually. Additionally, local businesses are more likely to spend their dollars locally, so the environmental impact is compounded.  You can also specifically select local independent businesses that embrace environmentally friendly practices like we do here at BA Auto Care.
  5. You support charitable giving.  Studies show that local businesses give to local charitable organizations and community causes at more than twice the rate of chains.
  6. You enhance community well-being.  Local businesses help build stronger neighborhoods by linking neighbors to each other.  When you know the owners and the staff they can become your friends.  You can look to them for advice.  This helps to build trust and strengthen community ties.
  7. You support local decision making that can benefit you.  Local businesses reflect the needs of their customers and tend to have greater flexibility in making decisions.  There doesn’t have to be a one size fits all approach, and there’s no corporate policy that has to be followed. Plus, the owners are right there feeling the impact of the decisions they make, so they are less likely to make decisions that will negatively impact the community.
  8. You invest in entrepreneurship.  It’s what our American economy is founded on.  Small businesses are the biggest job creators, and it’s entrepreneurship that is the foundation for moving many American families out of lower paying jobs and into the middle class.
  9. You help stabilize the local workforce.  Local businesses have far less turnover than national chains.  Your support allows local businesses to have a stable, happy, friendly workforce, and that’s good for families and the community.  It also helps to strengthen expertise, and that benefits customers.
  10. You help create “destinations”.  Interesting, unique and different independent businesses help to create “destinations”.   This attracts more visitors, neighbors, friends and guests to a specific locale, allowing them to discover even more interesting businesses in that same area.  This helps everyone.

Plus, in addition to all those reasons, when you support BA Auto Care you help us help you.  We’re passionate about what we do and we’re passionate about supporting the community.  We love being able to help our customers stay safe and save money by keeping their cars longer or getting a higher resale value, so there’s even more money to pump into the local economy!

 

 

About Brian England

 

Brian England, the current president of BA Auto Care (formerly British American Auto Care) got his start with an auto apprenticeship in a small town in the northwest of London. He came to the U.S. in 1972 to work for a Land Rover dealer in Rockville, MD, and a few years later, started British American Auto Care with his wife, Jennifer. A big believer in preventive auto maintenance, Brian's philosophy is to encourage and educate drivers on the benefits of adhering to a regular maintenance plan.