Last week Oswald’s was a tee sponsor at the Naperville Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing. We set up a booth at the 13th hole that included a couple of lift chairs and one of our large scooters. My son Alex manned the booth that also had refreshments, some old-time photos and paraphernalia from the pharmacy, a ladder golf game and prize wheel. As I watched the golfers come and go I was struck by a very interesting fact – most of the participants represented independent businesses.
As our nations Independence Day is upon us I thought this would be a great opportunity to encourage everyone to shop local and independent businesses as much as possible. There have been a multitude of studies and research into the benefit of local vs. chain stores. The results are very clear that spending your hard-earned dollar at an independent store benefits our community to a much larger degree than if you shop at a large chain store. Some of those many benefits are:
- Keeping dollars in your town – For every $100 spent locally, $60 stays in your community, at a chain store only $30 stays here.
- Charitable contributions – Locally owned businesses donate 3-4 times as much to local charities as opposed to chain stores.
- Diversity – Small retailers and restaurants offer a wider and more unique selection of goods and services than the big box stores. This diversity also draws people to our community, not only to shop but also to live.
- Customer Service – Smaller entities tend to know their customers better, react to their needs faster and remedy problems quickly.
- Jobs – Small businesses employ more people across the nation than large corporations.
- Expertise – Unlike chains and particularly the internet, most small businesses are experts in their field – and you can’t try on a pair of running shoes or try out ten different lift chairs sitting at your computer!
So, before you make that next shopping trip or choose a place to go out and eat, please take a second to think about that choice. Believe it or not every time you make a choice to shop and dine locally it helps our town in many ways.
Happy Independence Day, enjoy your Summer and shop local!