411 Blog

Why we should all support small business week


Small Business Week 2017 is here and we’re pretty excited about it at 411.ca. This week is full of events for entrepreneurs, but what can you do as a consumer to celebrate small business week? Support your local businesses! Here’s why we should all support small business.


Small businesses impact the economy

One of the most common reasons to shop local is to support the local economy. Here are some of the economic benefits of buying local.

  1. Local business re-circulates money. Local businesses re-circulate more money into the community compared to their corporate counterparts. Think about these stats from BC Buy Local:
  • Local retailers re-circulate 45 per cent compared to 17 per cent for chains
  • Local restaurants re-circulate 65 per cent compared to 30 per cent for chains
  • Local suppliers re-circulate 33 per cent compared to 19 per cent for chains
  1. Local business creates jobs. Small businesses create and provide the majority of jobs in Canada. These are just a few small business job creation statistics from Key Small Business Statistics – June 2016 edition:
  • In 2015, small businesses accounted for 70.5 per cent of private sector jobs, equivalent to 8.2 million jobs.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, small businesses created 1.2 million jobs, which is 87.7 per cent of net job creation.
  1. Local business stays local. They value the idea of supporting other small businesses, so they become customers of local printers, accountants, attorneys, and more.

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Small businesses help the environment

Supporting local business also means creating a healthier environment and can help lighten your carbon footprint. This article outlines why buying local is more green than buying from big chains and these are some highlights.

  1. Local business is walkable. Many local businesses are neighbourhood serving, so customers will walk or bike rather than drive, creating far less pollution.
  2. Local business uses less land. Local businesses take up much less land than big chain stores. Plus, they do not need massive parking lots, which use materials that are harmful for the environment.
  3. Local business makes quality products. Getting a quality product is one of the best benefits of buying locally made products. Local business tend to create and stock high quality products that will not need to be replaced nearly as often, which is better for your wallet and the environment.


Small businesses shape communities

Local business plays a huge role in the way communities are shaped. Here are just a few benefits of small businesses in a community.

  1. Local businesses add personality. Imagine how boring and uninviting it would be if your town or city was filled with only big chain stores. Every community is filled with independent businesses from florists, dog groomers and yoga studios to restaurants, retailers, and more. The uniqueness of a community stems from local business.
  2. Local businesses give back. According to the Globe and Mail, research by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found:
  • 75 per cent of small firms donate money to charities or other non-profit activities in their communities
  • 75 per cent of small firms donate goods and services within their community
  • About 60 per cent sponsor local sports teams
  • 50 per cent promote local charities and donate their own time and 25 per cent also donated employees’ time
  • Only 1 per cent of the businesses reported they had no involvement in community causes
  1. Local businesses bring communities together. Local shops host events within the community to bring people together. These are especially great for people who are new to the community, plus local businesses to get new customers. Your support within the community keeps these local groups alive.
  2. Local employees become your friends. When you shop local, you can get to know the people you’re buying from. If you go into the same local coffee shop every day the people there become your friends because they care about the customers. They don’t do it because they have to, they do it because they care about providing personalized service, even if it takes a little more time.

We hope this encourages you to shop local this week. Even better, carry these habits beyond this week and join the shop local movement. If you want to learn even about more about the benefits of supporting local business, as well as buying local facts, check out this infographic.

Click here to find local businesses on 411.ca.

Laura has a B.A. in Honours Communications Studies from McMaster University and is currently enrolled in Humber’s Public Relations Postgraduate program. She is passionate about writing and local business, so this blog is the perfect combination of the two.