Friday, September 30, 2011

Shopping Locally...and it's benefits

A majority of today's consumers are online shoppers in one way or another.  I have been known to shop in bed in my jammies from time to time.  But is this costing our community when we eliminate shopping locally?  Here are a few benefits I can think of, that we eliminate, when we stop supporting our local shops:

1.  Eye contact - you may not want to believe it, but eye contact is just good for you.  Eye contact keeps people a little more honest.  There isn't a computer screen to hide behind.  Sometimes eye contact comes with a smile, too, that can make anyone's day better.

2.  Personal service - you may get personal service.  Immediate, personal, service.  What?  What is this 'service' I speak of?  It's when someone helps you find the right product(s) for you and your personal situation, right then and right there.  There's no waiting for an email reply, phone message that may or may not be returned.  This 'service' may come with eye contact and a smile, so be forewarned!

3.  Paying sales tax - yes, paying your sales tax on items you buy are a big plus!  You have children that may be going in to school in the next few years...their teachers and schools are paid for by taxes.  Many of those funds come from sales tax.  Read on...

"By far the largest areas of state spending, on average, are education (both K-12 and higher education) and health care. But states also fund a wide variety of other services, including transportation, corrections, pension and health benefits for public employees, care for persons with mental illness and developmental disabilities, assistance to low-income families, economic development, environmental projects, state police, parks and recreation, housing, and aid to local governments."  (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April, 12, 2011)

When we choose to shop online to avoid paying sales tax, you can bet your bippy it is going to affect what services get cut at the state budget meetings!  OH wait - you NEEDED that police officer to protect you from a villain...start paying sales tax!  You NEEDED that fireman to put out that fire in the kitchen before your house burned down?  PAY. YOUR. SALES. TAX!

4.  Supporting a business...that supports YOU - that's right.  Support a business that will be there when you need help with your purchase.  Small businesses are the best for this type of support.  They WANT and NEED your business, so 9 times out of 10 they are there for you when you need them.  Not only in support of each other, you may be supporting a job or two.  Here are a few stats from the SBA website:

  • Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
  • Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
  • Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
  • Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
  • Create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
  • Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).
  • Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
So, just those few stats show how important small business is to the United States, and it's recovery.

Now I understand that sometimes your local shopping options may not have what you NEED right then and there.  But I'd bet they'd do their best to find it for you in order to make a local customer happy.  And if they can't, they could steer you towards maybe another local retailer that does.  Heck, that retailer may not even know there is a desire for a certain product - UNTIL SOMEONE ASKS FOR IT!   So ask, with a smile, and eye contact. 

Just going back a few notches about businesses being there when you need help with your purchase; have you gone back to Target, Walmart or even online thru Amazon and asked for help on how to make your product work?  Yah, not so easy huh?  They don't have time for you.  They got your money, they don't feel the need to actually HELP you!  When you shop thru a local, small business - maybe family owned, most likely you will feel confident walking in and getting the help you need.

Now, this all may seem odd coming from an ONLINE business owner.  But I AM still a LOCAL!  And who knows...maybe I'll have my own shop one day...and you can come in and get all the eye contact, smiles, and personal service your heart desires - all the while helping to support your local community by paying sales tax!  <3

Much love~
Rachel & Family

1 comment:

  1. I like what you said about taxes. We often forgot what our tax money is supposed to do for us. Of course, the government could do a better job in handling their money but we also sounds like a thief sometimes when we ask for this and that and try to avoid tax at the same time.

    Also, if I am not mistaken, we are supposed to pay sales tax on items we bought out-of-state, on our state tax return.

    Oh, may I add, when I shop from you, local to me, I also often get the eye contact and smiles from you and your little ones. Can't get that from or UPS :)