The importance of supporting local businesses

Many businesses within walking distance of McDaniel, such as Ying Thai Cuisine, encourage students to enter. (Marya Kuratova / McDaniel Free Press).

Local businesses are located in towns all over and are often underestimated for the good that they can do and bring to their community. Local businesses thrive off the support from those that live in their towns and cities and they want to provide for these people. Here are a few reasons why shopping at your local businesses can benefit you and your community.

To begin, by supporting your local business, you are supporting your local economy. When a purchase is made at a local business, a crucial amount of money stays in the community rather than going to a nationally owned business. This helps with keeping the local economy booming and thriving. It is recorded that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 will stay in the community.

These small businesses also employ 77 million people and account for 65 percent of all new jobs over the past 17 years. This goes to show how vital they are when it comes to employment. Unemployment rates are always fluctuating, but to have a consistent type of business that helps with employing people all over the world is key for a successful economy.

Local businesses are also owned by the people in your community. This makes everything more personal, which means they genuinely care about their customers and creating a good and pleasing environment for them to shop at. Costumer service comes first and that can make all the difference in a shopping/dining experience; you don’t find that often at nationally owned businesses.

Lastly, supporting local businesses is good for the environment because they tend to have a smaller carbon footprint than larger companies. In a time where it is crucial to be taking care of our environment, these small businesses are helping contribute to the well-being of the planet.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Molly Gough, a senior here at McDaniel, who has worked at JeannieBird Baking Company, a local coffee and bake shop in Westminster, for almost a year now. I could really tell how enthusiastic and happy she was about working in the JeannieBird environment; she even told me that JeannieBird has been her favorite job thus far.

She described how a local business like JeannieBird really brings the community together and how employees know all of the regular customers who come in. Molly said that she knows just about every regular person’s order and even named off a few for me, “Ed gets a scrapple egg and cheese on sourdough, Loretta gets a sweet scone and a dark roast coffee in a mug, and Clark gets 2 eggs with a toasted English muffin.”

One thing that really stood out to me that she said was that, “[Working at JeannieBird] is more than just serving coffee and food. We as employees are taught that it is more about making people happy.” That completely captures the whole point and atmosphere of a local business. It is more than a business and it’s more than the money; the people truly care about the customer getting the best experience possible!

So next time you think about going to a big, corporate owned business, instead try stopping by at your locally owned businesses to make a healthy difference for the community and yourself.