Shopping small is a really big deal, especially in the Mid-Ohio Valley where the influence of a local economy is so strong. When it comes to economic vitality, it is absolutely true that every single dollar spent matters. So, why is shopping local so important? Here are 8 reasons why it makes (dollars and) sense to choose local as often as you can.

  1. Local businesses support local events, sports teams & charities 250% more than big corporations.

You see the signs of local small businesses hung up with care on the fences of baseball fields, on the flyers of local nonprofit fundraisers, and in the news as donors of the latest community projects. Local businesses sustain our local economies by financially supporting the programs and initiatives that provide a quality of life.

  1. Shopping local sustains our local economies at higher rates than big-box.

For every $100 spent in a local business, $68 dollars stays local compared to only $43 spent at big-box stores. Dollars spent in the downtowns of the MOV go directly into the pockets of our neighbors and friends, contribute to the local tax base, and get redistributed to our local schools and nonprofits.

  1. Products are one-of-a-kind, hand selected by business owners, and can only be found here.

While chain stores are busy stocking shelves based on national consumer demands, our local shops are stocking shelves based on what we love here in the MOV. Find the colors of our local sports teams on display, products crafted by local artisans, and gifts flaunting our community pride.

  1. Shopping local facilitates stronger social ties and higher levels of civic engagement.

It’s no surprise that locals fill the streets of the MOV during events like the Taste of Parkersburg and First Fridays in Marietta. You can’t walk down a local street without seeing the faces of the people you love or without strangers becoming friends. Small businesses help facilitate relationships with our neighbors.

Emma Blaney during the Grand Opening of EmLeigh's and Mama B's in Downtown Marietta

  1. Local business generates local jobs at higher rates than big-box stores.

An estimated 14 jobs are created for every $10 million in consumer spending at Amazon. That said, about 57 jobs are created for the same amount spent locally. Small business matters because small businesses employ our neighbors.

  1. Successful small businesses increase the property values in our towns.

Communities with a successful independent business district, on average, experience an increase of 50% in property values. Why? Thriving hubs of small business – our downtowns – are walkable, family-friendly, vibrant, and unique. This all creates demand, with residents willing to pay more for the quality of life.

  1. Shopping local saves the environment.

When districts are walkable, the demand for cars decreases. Consumers who walk or ride bikes contribute to the health & wellness of the community. Plus, because small businesses are more likely to feature locally-sourced products, they reduce the environmental impact of the transportation of goods.

  1. Support for independent business is support for the creative economy.

Creative minds, willing hands, and entrepreneurial spirits are found at the foundation of every small business. Often times, small business owners are the ones who see a need in a local community and opt to meet it on their own. When we shop local, we show gratitude to those people who make our communities better places.

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