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​Benefits of Shopping Small Businesses

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You drive by them every day. Perhaps they have glass windows with nice displays or colorful banners and signage. Maybe they have put forth the physical labor and carried their wares to the sidewalk to attract your attention. These are the small businesses, mom and pop shops or main street stores that exist in small towns, mid sized communities and large cities throughout America.

With the advertising budgets behind the larger corporate retailers, you might be convinced that the best deals are to be found at these consumer behemoths. You might think that when you shop at the larger venues that you are supporting job growth. But it’s not always the case. Take a look at this quote from Forbes.

“Never discredit the small business and its vital importance to both the economy and community. Statistics from the U.S. Business Administration state that the nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States create 65 percent of net new jobs. Small business advocacy group The 3/50 Project takes it even further, with every $100 that is spent at a local retailer, $68 will return to the community through taxes and payroll. It only furthers the need to increase awareness about small businesses which are essentially the backbone of a community."

When you support small business, you support your town, your city or your local area all around. It gets right down to the heart of the matter: helping others in the case of small businesses will truly help yourself in the process.

Cheaper is not always better. In many cases, when the big guy comes to town, like WalMart, Target, PetCo, Costco, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel or other major corporations, consumers find it less appealing to buy from the local small business because they can now get a cheaper alternative. However, although a product may be cheaper, there could be many underlying issues with the product that explain how it came to be so cheap. Mass production can raise a red flag because the production process can be ethically unsound or potentially risky for one’s health. Some problems involved in mass production used by major corporations could include outsourcing of the manufacturing of the product to international factories with inhumane working conditions; poor-quality or other harmful manufacturing practices.

There may be times where the source of the product offered at the small business and the corporate store come from the same source allowing the larger entity to buy in quantity and offer a lower price, but remember that by shopping at your local store and paying a slightly higher price you are supporting your community. You are maintaining diversity and preventing gentrification.

In the case of UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, as well as our unique imported items, we offer custom furniture designed specifically for you, which is then manufactured by local carpenters who in turn buy locally sourced, reclaimed woods from another entity. Our upholstered line follows the same model and the craftsman who constructs and brings your interior design desires to life also buys from local frame makers and textile companies.

The bottom line is the “larger corporate business has more purchasing power thus offers a better price” thought process does not tell the whole story so next time you see that local window display, sidewalk design or colorful signage, pop in, get to know the folks in your ‘hood. You won’t be sorry.  

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