By now, everybody is familiar with Small Business Saturdays – the day following the annual Black Friday madness dedicated to raising awareness of shopping at small, local businesses. It has been proven many times over the years that shopping local supports communities in ways online retailers, big-box and chain stores can’t.

A recent study from the National Hardware Retail Association showed that independent home improvement stores recirculate 250% more dollars locally than chain store competitors.

Comparing local purchases to online transactions shows even greater disparity.  Sales through local hardware stores have a local impact seven times greater than those through online giants.

A Consumer Reports survey of pharmacies finds that independent shops earn top marks for customer satisfaction and are competitive on prices with their chain store competition.

That’s why buying local is always a good idea.

There are many resources available to independent merchants interested in starting such campaigns.

AMIBA – American Independent Business Alliance offers a guide to campaigns and a roundup of seasonal campaigns.

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives – offers information and resources on “buy local” initiatives.

Independent We Stand – features information about the importance of “buying local.”

Brian Bullock

Writer