Opinion: Local businesses are the heartbeat of America

Local businesses have more to offer than simply their products.
Photo from pexels.com

KEARSTIN CANTREL | Opinions Editor

I recently signed a lease on an apartment just inside the city limits of St. Louis. So far, one of my favorite things about the neighborhood I live in is the vast amount of small, local businesses at my fingertips.

In a single day in my new residence, I visited a locally owned nail salon, bakery and plant nursery.

All of which were great experiences.

I’ve always loved small businesses, having grown up in the midst of my grandparents owning and running a small steakhouse and bar in my hometown.

Small businesses are the heartbeat of the American Dream.

They fuel local economies, they foster pride in a town or city and let’s be honest, small businesses are just more fun and memorable than national chains.

There are plenty of reasons to love and support local businesses, besides how Instagram-able they can be.

There are plenty of reasons to love and support local businesses, besides how Instagram-able they can be.

Spending your money at local businesses supports the people you see everyday. By investing in small businesses, you’re investing in the livelihood of your neighbors and your city. You’re creating room for higher employment, and putting money directly into your area’s economy.

According to ambia.net, every dollar you spend at an independent business, returns three times more money to your local economy than money spent at a chain business.

Local businesses also make communities a destination. They give the area a personality. Nobody goes to St. Louis neighborhood, The Hill to have pizza at Papa John’s or Dominos. They go to get an amazing sandwich from Adriana’s or pasta from Mama Campisi’s.

Small, local businesses keep taxes lower for community residents as well. Small businesses consume less than chains. They use less land and have less demand on a community’s roads, safety services and sewers. Between that and generating more revenue per tax dollar, small businesses greatly impact community taxes.

Not to mention that, more often than not, products from small businesses are more unique and oftentimes less expensive than products from chains. They inspire adventure. They provide memorable experiences.

I have few memories from the Walmart plant section that stand out in my head. But my first trip to the local nursery, I’ll remember forever.

At the end of the day, stepping out of your comfort zone and spending money locally is absolutely worth it.  

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