Support your neighborhood businesses
Wednesday May 2, 2012 | By:Jennifer Lysiak, Reporter
LANCASTER- A recent drive down Broadway in Lancaster made me a little troubled as I counted the number of businesses that have closed down in the last three years. While I don’t know the exact reasons as to why they closed, it led me to believe that the main reason was because they couldn’t survive in this depressed economy.
Honestly, it was really disheartening to know that not too long ago I was speaking with businesses owners who had future plans to expand their businesses and grow in the community, but now their dreams are gone. This is why it is more imperative than ever to support local your businesses.
May be then businesses such as “Masterpieces By Me,” “Good To Go,” and the little coffee shop that seemed to be only open for a couple of months, would have had a chance. I have even noticed several businesses in Depew no longer around.
I remember speaking to one Depew business owner who had such high hopes for succeeding and he invested a lot of money into his business. It was only after a few months, I was told he had to close down because he wasn’t making any money.
I can only imagine the time, effort, money, and sacrifices someone, a family, puts into starting their own business. When I see a business fail it is a wakeup call, for at least me, to realize how difficult it really is in our economy to succeed on your own. It is really kind of scary.
Many of you know that small businesses are very important to the local economy. When you buy from independent, locally-owned businesses, more of your money is reinvested in the community than if you had shopped at a national chain store.
But it's not just about individuals spending their money locally- companies, nonprofit groups, and governments need to support local establishments, too.
It is also important to keep in mind that local business owners are more concerned about their neighborhoods because their businesses are a second home; in fact, many spend more time on the job than they do at home. They're invested in their neighborhoods. There also is a sense of community among local businesses. They contact each other and collaborate with each other.
It's true that some local businesses aren't always the cheapest or as convenient as the alternatives, but those shouldn’t be the only standards that count. As customers our expectations should go beyond price and speed.
They should include the quality of experiences and lasting relationships. Having someone who knows you and knows what they're selling is invaluable. This knowledge makes them accountable to you in ways that are rare versus dealing with companies based in far-away cities.
In addition, several local businesses provide jobs for those who live in or around the community. According to a recent business article, it is typically local businesses that provide better wages and benefits than chain stores do. Those businesses in turn utilize local advertising, local banks, and local services, further expanding the benefit of their being patronized by the people who live in their community.
Buying locally also reduces the need for travel. It cuts down on fuel consumption and reduces the need to ship items over thousands of miles, both which are beneficial to the environment.
So, next time you’re out shopping just remember how essential it is to support your local businesses. Remember, how much value they really do add to a community.