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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Ang

5 Reasons Why You Should Support Local Businesses

Photo: CGTN

There has been a lot of conversation surrounding small, local businesses in Singapore suffering due to the pandemic. However, there are many young businesses that have also been started to supplement the owners’ incomes, or because they have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

Smaller businesses tend to charge slightly higher prices than retail stores due to their higher costs of raw materials needed, but their products are usually of higher quality and made with a lot of care and love.

Here are 5 reasons for you to support local businesses located in your neighbourhood, home based and online businesses.

Small businesses have a smaller carbon footprint

Perhaps the biggest reason why we should support local businesses is because of their smaller carbon footprint. Small businesses tend to have sustainable and environmentally friendly missions and usually use reusable alternatives to cut down the costs of operating their business.

They usually make their best effort to reduce, reuse and recycle, and continuously encourage their customers to do so, which encourages a circular economy that benefits the environment.

They Take More Accountability

How many times have you heard the old grandmother’s tale of Grab, or Foodpanda’s extremely poor customer service plastered all over social media? While these retailers tend to have a wide selection of products and services, it is very easy for them to shirk responsibility after collecting your money, in exchange for unsatisfactory goods and services.

Small, local businesses tend to put their money where their mouth is and vouch for the quality of their products, or risk their business reputation being potentially tainted or harmed.

Small businesses have bigger stakes and more to lose, so you are almost always guaranteed good service and value for your money.

There may be errant sellers and scammers around who can make customers more skeptical of small, or home operated businesses, but big chain merchants typically do not value your patronage as much as small businesses, as they have a long line of other customers willing to pay for their goods and services.

They Are More Likely To Support Other Local Businesses

Whether it’s a homerun bakery or prints store, these local businesses require raw materials and supplies to run their businesses which is usually sourced from other local businesses as well. They help to sustain a community-based economy that looks after the welfare of the local community and ensures that people based in the communities are well taken care of with the quality of their products and services.

This also helps build stronger communities as the community is internally sustained by one another which links the people involved in a large interconnected web that makes the community closer.

You help support their dreams

When you buy from a small, local business, it is a nod of acknowledgement to the hard work, effort and risks put in by the business owner. For small businesses, a little goes a very long way and many of them give back to the community they benefit from, the most prominent example being local F&B establishment Beng Who Cooks.

At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year when the Circuit Breaker measures had adversely affected many peoples’ livelihoods, the owners stepped up to provide free meals for those who had difficulties affording their daily meals.

They have also started the Beng Who Cooks Foundations which provides meals for children who have difficulties accessing their meals, and for people who cannot afford their food.

You forge closer and authentic bonds with the people behind these businesses

Perhaps the most fundamental and most necessary reason why we should support local businesses is that we are human. Within a community, when you forge connections behind the people that run the local business, you enjoy a relationship or a connection that you otherwise would not have forged if you shopped at bigger chain stores.

When you shop with local businesses, you invest your emotions, time and money, which is extremely satisfying when they succeed and makes you feel disappointed when they have to close their doors and shut down. It’s inherently human to feel attached, which makes shopping with local businesses more satisfying as you know that you are supporting your someone’s dreams and aspirations, instead of a large corporation with countless ethical scandals that ruin the environment or disrespects their workers.

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