The Fourth of July festivities may be done for another year, but we’ll be celebrating the spirit of independence all month long.

July marks Independent Retailer Month, a dedication that honors the hard work and important contributions of the small business owners in our communities.

It’s easy to get swept up in the locavore movement, which emphasizes taking the time to get to know local business owners and to choose them first when making purchasing decisions.

Some are quick to point out that smaller retailers often charge more for products and services, and often that can be true. Local businesses usually aren’t able to stock inventory and supplies at the same scale as some of those Amazonian retailers, and thus aren’t able to negotiate the same bottom-dollar wholesale prices.

Shopping at locally and family owned stores is a great way to support independent retailers who provide jobs from the community, and contribute directly to the local economy. 


However, the higher price you might pay at an independent retailer is a small price to pay when you consider the myriad benefits of shopping local.

Shopping local can often mean that product is sourced from the local community, and this helps to keep the cycle of local businesses supporting other local ventures going and growing.

In addition, independent retailers are more likely to be active in the community, and they contribute to the local economy. 

BETTER GOODS

For one, let’s talk quality. You might like that top you picked up on sale at H&M, but be honest: is there anything to really love about it, when it’s a mass produced product that probably won’t last beyond a few washings?

However, a top purchased at a local boutique is likely to be better made, and from better materials. That’s because small business owners are passionate about what they bring into their shops, and when you’re that passionate you aren’t going to settle for anything less than top quality.

Independent retailers distinguish themselves by offering a higher quality of goods.



MORE KNOW-HOW & PERSONAL SERVICE 

With that devotion to quality also comes a sincere desire to provide the very best service possible. This means honing expertise to answer the questions that really matter.

For example, the staff at a locally owned athletic supplier will help you choose running shoes best suited to your gait so that you can prevent injury while making new PRs, whereas the bored teenager working at Foot Locker probably won’t.

Local businesses take pride in delivering superior customer service.

Customers can expect -- and usually receive -- better customer service at local retail establishments.

INVESTING IN YOUR COMMUNITY 

While small business owners’ primary interests tend to be in supplying a great product and superior service, we can’t overlook their economic importance.

When you shop with an independent retailer, you aren’t just providing paychecks to the business owners and his or her employees. A dollar spent at a local business is usually spent anywhere from six to 15 times before it leaves the community, because local businesses tend to patronize other local businesses such as printers, attorneys and locally owned restaurants.

This means that dollar you spent will create $5 to $14 in value. Pretty amazing!

Spending your money locally helps support businesses and non-profit ventures as well.



Spending money with local stores means your dollars often stay in the community longer.

By contrast, 80 cents of a dollar spent at a national chain leaves town immediately, and only about 6 cents ends up staying in your community. Not much of an investment.

On the topic of investments, independent retailers value their communities, and so small business owners tend to support not only other local businesses but also local nonprofits — from arts to youth empowerment to community improvement interests.

BDI is proud to work with many small businesses around the world

That’s why BDI is proud to work with many small businesses in the United States, and around the world. You can find our products at any of the fine furniture retailers listed in our Retailer Locator.

So as July kicks off, get out there and #shoplocal to support your community!

Do you have a local retailer you’d like to give a shout-out to, or make special effort to shop from? Let us know about them in the Comments section below.