This year, in addition to the regular Black Friday deals, major emphasis was placed on a fairly new shopping holiday known as Small Business Saturday. The event, created by American Express, was first celebrated in 2010 to encourage consumers to shop locally with small businesses on occasion, rather than allocating all their holiday shopping money to “big box retail” stores or e-commerce on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The hype surrounding shopping local is not entirely unfounded. There are benefits to shopping at locally-owned businesses. By shopping at locally-owned businesses, jobs are created and there is more tax revenue, which provides a boost for the national and local economies while lowering the unemployment rate. There have been many studies showing that spending your money with a local business has more of an economic impact than shopping with nonlocal companies. Many local business owners create a circle of money exchange by using local lawyers, accountants, etc. as a way to “pay back” the local community, whereas large chain stores tend to outsource their work. The belief is that if the money is kept within the community, then the community benefits. The local community also reaps the benefits of locally-owned businesses paying local taxes. Locally-owned businesses are also much more likely to donate to local organizations, schools, charities and other community groups.
When shopping in a local mom-and-pop-style shop, the focus is on the customer, because small businesses have more invested in the relationship with consumers. Over the past fiscal year, Precision Language & Graphics has seen a drastic increase in local sales. Some companies in the Chicagoland area, such as Kyowa Hakko Chemical Americas, TableCraft, Hydraforce, Koshin Americas and many others, have reached out to us for linguistic support. PLG was more than happy to supplement their multilingual needs while providing the more personal experience they were looking for. These companies all received personal visits from members of the PLG team where we were able to build a relationship prior to even starting a project for them. The personal touch that local businesses provide to their products or services is simply immeasurable.
To learn more about the local businesses that have worked with PLG and read about their thoughts on working with a locally-owned business, check out this month’s project highlight at http://plgreader.plg-online.com/2011/12/project-highlight-plg-goes-local-in.html.