When you shop small, you’re not helping some CEO make a payment on a second boat. You’re putting dinner on the table for a local family or helping to support their children through college. You’re paying for piano and karate lessons. You’re creating jobs for other people in the community, too.

Shopping small has positive effects that stretch far beyond you or the businesses you go to. Business owners and their employees use the money you’ve paid them to shop at other small businesses in the area, which boosts your community and keeps it going. A single purchase helps a whole heck of a lot. Imagine what shopping small for a lifetime could do.

Small Business, Huge Impacts
People hear all the time how big business keeps America going. It’s a depressing thought, if you take the time to consider it. It’s also not true. Think about every small business you know, from the local bakery to the shop selling sports gear for kids. What would life in your community be like without them? Not anywhere near as good. The U.S. Small Business Administration says that there are 28 million small businesses in the U.S. That is one small business for every 11 people in the country. Walk down the main drag of your town and take a serious look at the people who run your little corner of the world. What a difference they make!

Those small businesses have to work so hard to compete against the box stores, yet they provide 66 percent of all new U.S. jobs. Supporting small business helps to build and sustain the community you live in, because the money you spend often stays local. Small businesses have created 8 million jobs since the 1990s, while big business has slashed half as many. When you recognize the importance of shopping small, you make your community a place where small businesses can thrive. It’s a win-win.

A Small Business Community
There is a reason small business is so big in the U.S. You see that reason every time you walk into the store and spot a friendly face from your community. It is not entirely tangible, but the personal relationships that form between small business owners and their clientele can last for years or even decades. This is something that Walmart cannot ever have. You know the small café or boutique that you love to go to because the people who work there know your name and treat you like a part of the family? Walmart can’t make you feel like that, not like people at a small business. You are actually a significant contributor to their survival, because your recommendation is gold. When you encourage your friends and family to shop small at your favorite places, you build a web of positive connections that keep those companies going strong. That’s why a small business owner’s thank you feels so much more real. It is more real.

You shop small because you love the personal service. What’s not to love? Now you know that spending a little more green at local businesses benefits your community in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine. What do you get in return? A true community and an environment people are happy to call home.