Give Back to Companies that Illustrate Your Values
There is a HUGE disconnect between the sourcing of products and their later consumer purchase. Whether that be oranges at your grocery store chain, plants from Home Depot, or large franchised gym workout classes, we often fail to see that the things we love aren’t always rooted with loving intentions. Big companies seek big profits and while financially beneficial, it can bury unforeseen costs to our environment, economy, and community landscape. Through supporting businesses local to your area, managed by people who live just like you, you have more impact in the outcomes true to you. Giving back to these companies actively enables owners to successfully operate and furthers their mission. In seeking out co-ops, studios, hair salons, plant stores, sustainable clothing brands, restaurants, and other small owned businesses you can align your purchases with who you are. For example, maybe you're passionate about giving back to the environment and a local community co-op sells many products in recycled packaging. This allows you to support a goal that matters to you! You are giving back to a cause while still obtaining a product you need.
Encourage Creativity and Innovation
Small businesses are hubs for creative concepts, forward thinking, and intentional goals. Unlike corporate, large chain companies, local businesses operate under smaller teams and because of it are more able to foster employee and mission ambitions. By supporting companies that are able to evolve more easily you create more freedom to adjust to economic, political, and environmental needs as the world continues to shift. These companies so often focus on achieving mutually beneficial visions, but need continual advocates in order to stay afloat. For example, 612 Yoga & Fitness offers instructors the freedom to teach their own style and harness individual practices opposed to requiring one format across the board. This provides a more fluid, fun environment to work in and overtime builds teachers experience and confidence!
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Many people say they love small businesses, but how often do you actually act on it? Maybe you love one restaurant down the block because your neighbor started it from nothing or feel passionate about supporting local farmers. We can all talk a big talk, but what matters is what we do. If you believe in fair trade, livable wages, sustainable agriculture, regenerative practices, entrepreneurial growth, etc. - show it! When you buy products and services through intentional channels, you fund the impact it can make on the world as a whole.
Further Relationships in Your Community
Some of my favorite people have come into my life through interactions with a small business. From yoga teachers and bakers to plant lovers and food brands, you meet people similar to you when you seek settings that speak to you. There’s a reason people buy and spend time at the places they do! We all have our own styles. Supporting a company that you love provides an opportunity to network or build friendships with people who feel the same. In larger business settings there is a major gap between beginning and end. It often removes a lot of the intimacy in the consumer, supplier relationship and inhibits any bonding from taking place. Not only can you gain the same, if not better, service at a smaller enterprise, but also enhance your circle with like-minded humans that better your life as a whole!
Enjoy Personalized Services with Owners Who Care
The best yoga studios I have practiced at are the smallest. My favorite coffee shops take over five minutes to complete my order. The best clothes I own are much more expensive, but also much higher quality! Small businesses put their all into products they offer because they care, they love what they do. There is purpose and intention behind the creation and execution. As mentioned in reason number 4, creating relationships is much more attainable at a business that knows you by name. Target and Starbucks, Great Clips and Home Depot, they all serve a purpose, but you can purchase skincare products, get a haircut, or buy a plant from a company that takes time and energy to provide the best of the best. You support someone in their dream while likely getting a better outcome for yourself.
Support Livable Wages and Sustainable Practices
It’s well known that small businesses care about their people. A consistent theme in these communities involves the cohesion of meeting customer needs while bettering the world in some way. Using resources provided by small companies enhances their exposure to more people and thereby furthers their mission. If you’re going grocery shopping or looking to buy a new pair of shoes, seek the places that treat their employees well and participate in practices which give back to the planet. We all buy things, we all like to get our nails done, we need new plates sometimes, and love a good cocktail - get what you want, but feel good about it too!