(BPT) – There are millions of small businesses in the United States owned by passionate people working hard to make their dreams a reality. Rather than buying from a big retailer the next time you need something, consider supporting the locally owned businesses around you.
When you support a small business, you’re not only helping build your community, but also directly impacting someone’s life. Every customer counts when it comes to small business, which means your dollars can help that small business owner thrive.
For example, as the nation’s largest insurer, State Farm has more than 19,000 agents who are small business owners themselves, who are committed to restoring lives, rebuilding neighborhoods and investing in the communities where they live and work. This desire to help started 100 years ago when the company was founded by a farmer who was concerned that big city insurance companies would not serve the specific needs of his business and community.
Here are three simple ways to support small businesses and have a positive impact:
Get to know your community through its businesses
Your support matters all year long. For many people, this means shifting their mindset to thinking about local options first and getting to know the types of products and services your local businesses are providing.
Whether you are purchasing items for yourself or someone else, start to understand how these local businesses can fill your needs. Don’t forget, many small businesses offer gift cards, which are wonderful ways to show ongoing support.
Support small business service providers
Small businesses aren’t just for tangible goods. Many provide important services, such as your local mechanic, dentist or insurance agent. So, no matter your needs, try and find businesses that are active in the community.
You can spot these businesses by seeing how they engage with their neighbors. Look for the providers that are going above and beyond to support the neighborhood and other small businesses. By supporting those that have a strong investment in your community, you are helping them create a greater impact.
“From doughnut shops to beverage distributors, from hair salons to warehouses, State Farm agents are perfectly suited to help small business owners protect their dreams, their livelihoods and their families,” said Chief Agency, Sales & Marketing Officer and former State Farm Agent Rand Harbert. “We offer products and services business owners need, and State Farm agents are small business owners themselves.”
Share your experience
Many small businesses rely on satisfied customers to tell others so they can grow their client base. People trust word of mouth, so your effort makes a difference.
In fact, more than eight out of 10 people around the world said they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family, according to Nielsen. Plus, two-thirds said they trust online opinions from consumers. So, tell a friend in person, share a post on social media, or leave a positive review online.
If you’re a small business owner, consider using your platform to build up other entrepreneurs in your neighborhood.
The next time you have a need arise, think of how a small business can help. Every effort counts to build your community, show your support, and ensure you continue to have thriving small businesses near you.