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A sign in a shop window shows support for small businesses

Be a Hometown Hero: 7 Reasons to #ShopLocalKC and Help Small Businesses


Did you know shopping at Kansas City small businesses can actually be good for the environment? Or that shopping local can actually help you?

And now more than ever, KC small businesses need your support so they can continue to rebuild and pivot. This year, it’s more important and easier than ever to shop small and support local businesses. And even if you can’t buy a gift card at your favorite local businesses, you can still help by commenting, liking and sharing forward their content on social media to encourage those who can shop to shop local. Be sure to use the hashtag #ShopLocalKC and join KC’s online shop local movement.

And we’ve made it even easier to elevate your favorite businesses and increase awareness about shopping small. Just tell us a bit about a business we should feature on our social media channels, and we’ll do the rest. We have holiday guides, features, videos and more planned to help your favorite small businesses reach more customers.

This year, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE and join the movement that’s spurring people from around the world to “support local businesses,” a search query that Google says has increased 20,000% globally. And you can be one of the 3 in 5 consumers who say they plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping at locally owned businesses this year.

Here’s why #ShopLocalKC is vital this holiday season … and beyond.

1. Keep dollars local.

When you shop at small businesses, more of that money tends to stay in the community than if you made a purchase at a bigger chain. And on top of that, local businesses are more likely to buy from other local businesses, so that local tax base is more likely to grow and so are other local businesses. And we don’t really need to tell what a stronger local tax base means for schools, roads and police and fire departments.

2. Support job creation.

Small businesses mean big job creation. From 2013-17, Kansas City startups created 58 percent of all net new jobs in the area, and from 2015-19, those small businesses created nearly an average of 15,000 jobs a year. You can learn more about that in our We Create Jobs report.

And if there are more jobs in your community or neighborhood, your friends and family can find work near home. Plus, again, that keeps local dollars local and means shorter commutes. Can’t argue with that.

More reasons below ...

Nominate a KC Small Business You Love

We're helping promote Kansas City small businesses. Nominate your favorites here and help support the #ShopLocalKC movement.

3. Promote better (and more) choices for consumers.

So if you have a healthy community for small businesses, naturally, you’ll have more of those small businesses, and that means more choices, and, likely, better deals. Those smaller operations will be jockeying for local customers, which means better competition. Mega-corporations don’t do that.

Plus, small businesses sell wares from local artists and makers, which likely means you’ll have a great selection of stuff to choose from that you wouldn’t find in a big box store. And those local items are often painstakingly created, which means the quality is probably higher than the mass-produced stuff that’s made to achieve higher profit margins.

Some customers say they don’t shop local because they assume those stores aren’t selling what they need. But the opposite is usually true; local businesses will often carry and stock those special trinkets and consumables you seek.

4. Local businesses care about you, the customer.

Life isn’t perfect, so when you run into an issue with a product or service with a local business, would you rather deal with a mega-corporation or a small business? 

At a local business, things are more likely to be resolved (and will likely be a less stressful experience) because you might know the folks who run the store and can chat with them easily. There’s way less frustration because you don’t have to call 47 different reps until you can reach someone who can actually fix the issue.

Plus building a relationship with small business owners can net you better service because they really care about their local customers. Plus, who doesn’t like to chat with a familiar friendly face?

5. Back a greener environment.

Local brick-and-mortar businesses will probably be in a community or neighborhood center, which means less sprawl and less natural habitat loss. On top of that, you’ll probably use less gas getting to that local shop.

6. Small business support = greater nonprofit support.

Shopping local means you’re supporting owners who care about where they live. That means local businesses tend to donate more to local nonprofits, which obviously benefits your community but also might help your family, friends and neighbors. Plus, some small businesses might have donations or support baked into their product or service.

7. Helping small businesses rebuild helps you, too.

Did you know shopping local can actually help you, too? Because local businesses help grow the economic base of the community, the dollars you spend with them might eventually find their way back to you. And that's not all.

Towns that have a thriving business base are more likely to survive downturns, so shopping local can even keep your neighborhood safe and may even stabilize home values.

You don't have to shop locally every time to make an impact. Just having the mindset of doing business locally first is all it takes to start improving your community.

Nominate a KC Small Business You Love

We're helping promote Kansas City small businesses. Nominate your favorites here and help support the #ShopLocalKC movement.

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