Shop local. We hear this phrase quite a bit, but what are actually the benefits of shopping local?
Well, simply put, shopping local supports local families and our local economy by keeping dollars local so that they can make more of an impact in your town. When someone opens their own business, they hire local people, pay local taxes, and source goods locally, providing opportunities and growth for your town. Hence, the term “shop local,” packs quite a punch!
Mississippi is full of charming small cities and towns that have a story to tell. Within those main streets, lie brick and mortar businesses that might have been there for generations, or they could be brand new. Either way, these local stores help set the tone and ambiance for your town while providing jobs and goods to residents.
From the hills of northern Mississippi to the Gulf Coast, there are gift shops, bakeries, restaurants, clothing stores, hardware stores, tourist attractions, and more locally-owned businesses—all beloved by not only Mississippians but those who come to visit the Magnolia State. It has been said that when people go on vacation, they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace. Whether you’re on vacation or in your hometown, isn’t it nice to be “someplace”?
Maybe you’re thinking, “How do I shop local?” Begin with checking out your hometown’s chamber of commerce or visitors bureau and learn about the places they recommend. Farmers’ markets are an excellent resource to get fresh produce and support your local farmers. Word of mouth is also a powerful tool, so ask your friends where they shop. Don’t forget to check out local businesses on social media, or go for a walk and see what you can find!
As if these aren’t reasons enough to shop locally, here are some other perks to supporting local businesses:
1. SUPPORT YOURSELF – Numerous studies show that the benefits come back to you ten-fold when you buy from an independent, locally-owned business. The economic impact is significant. When you shop here, your money stays here in Mississippi. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement, and promote community development.
2. NO SHIPPING REQUIRED – If you shop local, there’s no need to stress over late arrivals and shipping deadlines. Plus, less shipping is better for the environment.
3. CONSULT AN EXPERT – Local business owners know their business and are often experts within the niche they serve. They have an understanding of their products and services. Consult your local expert to ensure you get (or give) precisely what you’re looking for. Plus, you might make a new friend!
4. COMPLIMENTARY GIFT WRAP – Most local businesses offer complimentary (and often spectacular) gift wrapping for purchases made in-store. Check one more thing off your to-do list by having your gifts wrapped on-site.
5. NO HASSLE RETURNS – Who wants to bother with return shipping? Shop local, and you don’t have to. We recommend consulting a business on its return policy when making a purchase. Still, we are confident you’ll find most local companies have fair return policies and often more flexible return policies just after the holidays.
6. KEEP OUR CHARACTER – Local businesses maintain the character and flavor that make Mississippi and its many cities and towns unique. The businesses where we shop, dine, entertain and visit all contribute to the Mississippi experience, giving our state distinctive character and appeal. Who wants to live in (or visit) a town with nothing to offer but national chains?
7. LOVE THY NEIGHBOR – Local business owners are our friends and neighbors. Please support them! Local ownership means essential decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and feel the impact(s) of those decisions.
Next time you shop, remember to shop local first and seek out items that are Mississippi-made. You are sure to have a quality experience and product, as well as service with a smile. We are the Hospitality State, after all.
What are some of your favorite local businesses in Mississippi? Tell us in the comments below or on social media.