Small businesses are a critical part of neighborhoods across the nation, and what make each neighborhood so unique. One-third of people support local business by shopping locally every week and 82% of shoppers would choose to support local business rather than a large corporation when provided similar options. When you support a small business, your dollars help create jobs for your community while also supporting innovation and competition.
Currently, there are about 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S., and they account for 65.1% of new jobs since 2000. However, local companies need even more support during and following the pandemic. As of November 2020, 29.7% of small businesses were negatively impacted by the pandemic with accommodation and food services; arts, entertainment and recreation; and educational services ranking as the hardest-hit industries. During the pandemic, Black owners have experienced a decline in business activity nearly three times higher than other owners.
As one of the leading insurers of small businesses, State Farm® knows how important it is to support local. And whether you're looking to make small steps to improve your community or you already support local small business on a regular basis, we've got some suggestions — both simple and out-of-the-box — on how to make a difference in your corner of the world.
1. Shop small
Before any purchase, check area stores in person or online. Or turn to platforms like Bookshop, Lyst and Sook for help finding books or clothing from small retailers.
2. Explore and experiment
Once a month, skip the chain restaurant or big-box hardware store and seek out local alternatives. Ask neighbors or check Yelp for recommendations.
3. Skip the middleman
Order directly from your favorite local restaurants and stores. Third-party delivery and shopping apps charge merchants high fees that reduce their already-small profits.
4. Join a CSA
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a system for connecting farmers with locals who will purchase their fresh ingredients. Check localharvest.org for CSA options in your area.
5. Buy gift cards
When birthdays and holidays come around, give gift cards to an area spa, restaurant, theater or other local businesses. Gift cards are a great way to introduce others to your favorites.
6. Make a donation
Charities are valuable employers and providers in local communities. Amplify your giving by donating to small nonprofits or give directly to the local chapters of national organizations.
7. Give a "like"
You can also support small businesses without buying. Liking their social media profiles, leaving positive reviews and sharing them with your friends is powerful word-of-mouth advertising.