A chalk board in a window with the words "Thank you for shopping local" on it.

The Importance of Shopping Local


Businesses have taken a tremendous hit over the past year with the COVID pandemic. None have been hit harder than small local businesses. Unfortunately a lot of mom and pop shops have been forced to shut their doors permanently, and others are in great turmoil over whether or not they will face the same demise. Imagine having the fate of your family and livelihood in the hands of government at the state level, and that is what local business owners have been facing with lock downs and restrictions. It has never been more important to support local businesses than now. Here we’ll take a look at why much more money stays in communities when a consumer chooses local business over the big box or chain stores.

The Money Stays Home

First and foremost, money spent in a local business stays in that community much more than money spent at big chain stores. On average, $68 out of every $100 spent in a local business will be returned to the community, while only $43 dollars of every $100 spent in a big chain store will be will be recirculated throughout the community. Property taxes, wages paid to employees, charitable donations are all reasons why more stays at home when consumers choose local options. Money spent at big chain stores travels mostly up to the corporate office which is filled with people who most likely have no idea about most of the communities that their stores are in, and therefore have very little interest in seeing communities succeed. If a product is available at both a local store and a big chain store, do the community a favor and buy from the local store.

Buy from Your Neighbors

Speaking of a community first attitude, shopping local creates a tighter-knit community, which makes for a better environment to raise a family in. A lot of the local mom and pop stores may be run and operated by people that live in the same neighborhoods or whose kids attend the same schools. Consumers also feel much more comfortable buying things from people they know and trust. When kids attend the same schools and share the same activities and passions, it creates strong relationships amongst families. Additionally, if older kids work in these local stores, it further benefits everyone in the communities. It also sets up a future for these small local businesses that communities need to survive. Youth who grow up shopping local and understand that importance of these businesses will always shop local, and many of them will start up or take over local businesses of their own.

There are many other reasons to shop local like not having to fight with huge crowds and deal with long wait lines. Poor service from employees in big chain stores is very common as well. The list could go on and on about why to shop local. Hopefully consumer will continue investing into their own communities, and now more than ever shop at local stores to keep these vital businesses up and running.

Learn More & Choose Local

To learn more about shopping local, visit the non-profit organization Truly Local SMTX. Truly Local SMTX is a way of life that celebrates and supports what we love most: The local, independent businesses and families who reflect the unique character, flavor, and culture of the place we call home. The people of San Marcos offer a simple solution: Choose San Marcos first. It’s an understanding that if we choose to neglect our local merchants first, something beautiful, meaningful, and unique fades away.