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How Often Do You Support Small Businesses?

It's a sad fact that the recession is bringing many family-run businesses to an end. Though exact stats are hard to pin down, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nearly 4.3 million businesses with 19 or fewer employees closed during 2007 and 2008. For many families, these small shops and restaurants are legacies — businesses that they've nurtured for decades, where generations have learned and passed along the family trade.

Since big names and chains dominated the city where I grew up, I always enjoyed the times I could find a unique, family-run place. There's something special about the people working there, who really know their stuff, and I always felt that there was something more authentic about my experiences in these stores.

Still, I recognize that there is a downside to shopping with smaller-run businesses. Often times, you can get a better deal shopping at a chain — there are likely more seasonal promotions, coupon savings, and discounts associated with big name retailers. And, of course, there's always the issue of convenience — finding a family-owned business off the beaten path can mean breaking your routine and sacrificing more of your time. But tell me, despite any drawbacks, do you make an effort to support your small local businesses?

Join The Conversation
Blessed13 Blessed13 7 years
In showing support to the small business community you also give that small business a chance to grow large. For example Wal-Mart was once small and they had to compete with larger corp business in it's day. Because we showed support they then became large. It may be more expensive to buy a jar of preserves from a mom and pop store but how is the quality compared to the Large stores. Amish stores are my favorite ones to visit. Family owned Business' passed down through generations that you have come to know. You've grown with the business from a small seedling to a sturdy oak tree big enough to give you shade but small enough you can still see the sky. I heard something recently like 99% of companies in the US employee less than 50 employees therefore they fall into small business. The Government is the largest employer in the US followed only by 8 other companies as the largest. So with that in mind, when I shop I ask myself, Do I need it now?, Is the price worth it? Will it save me time and money if I were to purchase it here? Is the Quality good or better than I can get elsewhere? And as a tither if I spend the extra will God consider this Good Ground and return 30, 60, and 100?
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
I came from a tiny town in rural Texas. All our stores were Mom/Pop shops when I was little. There was a feeling that we were helping each other out wherever we went. A little piece of us was part of every one's success. I went away for 4 years and came back to an entirely different town. They had opened a Target at one end of the town and a Walmart at the other. In the middle were empty stores....vacant little businesses choked out by the big guys. People lost businesses then were forced to take work at the places which drove them to bankruptcy. It is a sad SAD place. I haven't lived there for years but when I go visit family we walk through the town and peer into empty shops, sharing memories of happy times....simple times. Now in California I go LOOK for Mom/Pop places. You will never find me in Walmart or Target.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I try to, but I live in a smallish city with mostly chain stores to shop at. Pretty much everyone shops at Walmart and Home Depot and stores like that. But I get my dog food at this small, local pet shop that is the only place that sells it.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
Almost all the retail stores in my area are chains, so there aren't too many options left if I want to shop local. Restaurants are a different story, thankfully.
bsglrok132 bsglrok132 7 years
Nope, I'm a starving student and I always try to get everything at Walmart. I only go elsewhere if Walmart doesn't have it.
mek123 mek123 7 years
I try to support the local businesses and smaller chains over the bigger guys but not always possible due to selection or large price gap.
sarasonne sarasonne 7 years
I do try to support the small businesses, but it's sometimes tough when the cute little store downtown wants $7 for a jar of fruit preserves, and the big grocery chain wants $3.
doogirl doogirl 7 years
I live in a small city, and so there are a lot of small businesses here that I try to visit as often as possible. That's not to say that I don't shop at chain stores, but I try to visit the small businesses first!
weffie weffie 7 years
I usually try to pick smaller businesses, even if there isn't a mom-and-pop option nearby I'll choose a smaller chain store than, say, Wal-Mart (which I avoid at all cost)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I'm with sy, although, it usually winds up being even more often than that. I'm lucky to live in a neighborhood that is full of small businesses. There is actually a market about a half of a block from my apartment that is owned by the sweetest couple; I stop in there and into my local coffee shop quite often.
syako syako 7 years
At the very least, weekly.
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
I try to as much as possible, but sometimes with prices it makes more sense to go with the chain.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
as often as i can actually. it's funny - my husband and i were trying to get carpeting for our new apartment, and rather than go to a big chain type place, we went to this local family owned place and i think that we probably got better service from them than we would have gotten from a bigger place.
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