A Hampton Roads Gem

Support Neighborhood Small Businesses/Support your Household

Why Support Small Neighborhood Businesses?

It is beneficial to patronize local neighborhood merchants. Thriving small businesses are one of the best signs of an overall well economy. When they are not supported, and fail, the rest of the community suffers.
When small businesses have to close, and leave vacant stores, it is not good for property values. Healthy property values not only help when one goes to sell their home, but they also provide more equity for home owners to tap into, if needed. Schools typically tend to be better where property values are healthy, and the value of a good education is priceless. There are a host of other positive things that healthy property values provide.

Assumptions about Small Businesses

One reason why small businesses may not be patronized as much as they could be is due to some assumptions. One of the main assumptions is you pay more for a product or service from a small business instead of going to a larger chain. This is not always the case. Many small business owners smartly run their shops to keep overhead and expenses way down. This way, they can price their products and services to be competitive with the products and services of the larger chains. Therefore, it is worth checking out that local store before heading off to that large chain, assuming it will be more economical to do so.

Small Merchants and Larger Chains

Of course it makes sense to go to where one will save money. For example, for that large grocery trip, it does make sense to go to a large discount store or a store that sells products in bulk. And for that huge home improvement project, it does make more sense to go to one of those larger chains for a number of reasons, including one stop shopping, and yes, in some cases, keeping costs down. But to only pick up a few, or a moderate amount of items, why not visit that store in the nearby neighborhood shopping center? Although in some cases, you probably can get the items cheaper at a larger chain. However, if you look at the BIG picture, you may not be saving as much as you think. For example, you will likely have to travel further to get to the larger store. The gas spent may or may not be a big deal. But look at the time it takes to get to one of the larger chains, find parking, navigate the crowds, etc. By visiting a smaller shop, you are often in and out and home in a fraction of the time. Your time can be better spent doing other things instead of sitting at stop lights, waiting in lines, etc.
Most small shops tend to give outstanding customer service to their patrons. Of course the employees in the larger chains do too. However, the smaller stores tend to have "personalized" customer service. Many small store owners and employees know their returning patrons by name and go above and beyond to provide them with services and conveniences larger stores will not, or cannot do .
Supporting the larger chains is absolutely necessary for a healthy economy too, and as mentioned earlier, it does make sense to shop with them for larger purchases and such. Besides, the smaller businesses are not set up to handle larger crowds like their larger competition. However, by providing the smaller merchants with a good steady stream of business, everyone wins.

Need party supplies for a birthday party or school event? How about to celebrate an upcoming holiday? Party Palace, in the Woods Corner Shopping Center, is just the place to pick up what you need and be in and out in a flash!
Instead of heading off to that large office supply store to have business cards printed, why not check out the local shipping, packaging, and copying store, such as Orchard Square's D'Mailbox Store? You may be surprised at what they have to offer and you may find their prices surprisingly competitive. Instead of heading off to that large department store, to purchase that baby shower gift, you may be surprised at what the local neighborhood florist and gift shop, Baxter's Florist, also located in the Wood's Corner Shopping Center, may have. Why not call them and ask what they have on hand?

How Small Businesses support the Community

In a nutshell, supporting small neighborhood businesses enables them to support the surrounding community in return. Many small businesses give monetary donations to local organizations. Some offer their services free of charge, or for nominal fees, when non profit organizations want to do fundraisers and the like. A local small business may employ one's teenager over the summer someday, or even you or another member of your household when getting back into the workforce.
Finally, look at it this way...say you work for a company that schedules and provides home repair services. Small business owners are likely to hire a company like yours for services because they are too busy running their successful small businesses to do the work themselves. But if their business is not doing well and they have to cut hours or shut down shop entirely, then they may not be able to hire your company to do the work they need. In fact, they will have to do the work themselves, or not at all. With enough incidences like this, along with everything else that makes for a poor economy, the company you work for may find that they may have to cut back on everyone's hours and/or start doing layoffs, due to poor patronage. The same scenario is true if you work for a large telecommunications company, insurance company, retail clothing store, etc.
So if you are not already doing so, give it a try. We encourage you to support your local neighborhood small businesses whenever possible.