Small businesses couldn’t survive without support from the community. Likewise, our communities would be much less exciting places to live and work without the support of small businesses. In fact, the fundamental quality that makes small businesses special is that they are owned, operated and grown within their respective communities. As such, there’s no better place to turn to for support than the community.
More often than not, consumers within a given community already want to shop local. According to the 2014 Small Business Consumer Insights Survey, 94 percent of U.S. consumers say that shopping at small businesses makes them “feel good.” When asked why they choose small businesses, two-thirds of consumers say the main reason they shop small is because they value the contributions that small businesses make to their communities.
With all of this support brewing just blocks from your brick and mortar, it’s time to engage the community and make the most of the buy local movement. Here’s how:
Join Existing Local Events
Does your community host a summer cook-out? A community yard sale? A spring festival? If so, get involved! Sponsor an event, set up a booth or just show up to enjoy the entertainment. Any opportunity to talk to community members about your business (and hopefully show it off with some free samples) should make you mark your calendar.
Bring National Buy Local Campaigns to Your Community
The buy local movement offers year-round opportunities to engage your community. There’s Small Business Saturday to kick off the holiday shopping season, National Small Business Week in May and National Farmers’ Market Week in August – just to name a few. Make sure to publicize these events in your community and make it known that you’re participating to leverage the existing support for small businesses. Promotional materials from Independent We Stand are a good way to get started.
Get Active in the Chamber of Commerce
Don’t forget to engage the other businesses and leaders in the community! Your local chamber of commerce can connect you with resources, new ideas and relevant groups. It’s a great place to network with people who already understand the challenges you face as a business owner and the value you bring to the community. They’ll also be in the know about the local events and nationwide campaigns you want to join.
Never miss an opportunity to engage the community. There’s a good chance the consumers near you want to shop local, and it’s your job to make sure they know where they can.
This post is part of a twelve-month series by Independent We Stand. Each month, we’ll feature a new way to promote your small business. If you have a tip or tool that you’d like to share with small business owners, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Independent We Stand inspires small business owners across the country to celebrate their locally owned status and help consumers understand the importance of supporting them.