Supporting Small Businesses


Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood small businesses

Ana Moller

This Christmas, instead of going to Amazon to buy gifts for your loved ones, consider shopping local. Shopping locally provides many benefits to both store owners and customers. As a consumer, one is able to protect the environment, create a stronger tax base, and build a stronger sense of connection. 

To start, when shopping less than 400 miles from where the product is created, the consumer is able to reduce the amount of emissions that are needed to transport the item. There is less packaging and energy needed. This allows for less environmental impact and provides someone with a chance to do his or her part to protect the environment. 

Additionally, by shopping at small businesses in the community, one is able to create a stronger tax base because the sales taxes are reinvested where they belong. According to, “For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in your community.” When one spends $100 at a national chain, only $43 stays in the community. Supporting small businesses enriches the community and allows for better public services because of the influx of money. 

Lastly, shopping locally gives a better sense of connection. Customers have the opportunity to build a connection with the worker, and it could potentially be someone they know from the neighborhood. Those types of connections could be effective for job opportunities. Small businesses often give customers the peace of mind of knowing where their items are from and who made them. Knowing the background of the product, one is able to only support businesses that are ethical and sustainable. When shopping locally, you become a conscious consumer and impact the world in a positive way. So remember, while looking for that perfect gift for a family member or a loved one during the holiday season, be sure to check out the local shops in your community before hopping onto your computer and purchasing from a big business.