Shopping local and supporting small businesses has been a hot topic. Many people don’t realize the benefits of shopping local and supporting small businesses instead of shopping at big box retailers. There are many advantages to both you and your community when you shop local.

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance came up with a list of reasons to support locally-owned small businesses. The full list can be found here.

1. Community Well-BeingSmall Biz

Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.

2. Local Decision-Making

Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

3. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy

Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.

4. Job and Wages

Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

5. Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

6. Environmental Sustainability

Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

7. Product Diversity

A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

Tell us about your favorite small businesses in Greater Reading using #shoplocal.

For more information feel free to contact GREP.