What Does It Mean To Shop Local?
Shop local, shop local, shop local. It’s become a trend. But for countless small, independently-owned businesses it’s more than a trend. It is a lifeline; it’s what keeps them in business and gives their employees a way of life (or, more accurately, the ability to live and support their families). Local, small businesses depend on their neighbors’ support to keep their doors open and kindly welcome every neighbor they most likely know by name.
These stores are owned and staffed by folks just like you; people who live in the neighborhood, someone you can talk to directly, who you see in the store every day, whose children go to the same school as yours. The owners and staff take genuine interest in getting to know you and why you shop with them. They care about your needs and strive to make your shopping experience great. At Nuts ‘n Berries, all of our employees take a keen interest in helping and knowing YOU. Just like they learn your wonderful life, they, too, have such interesting lives outside of work. So, when you shop at Nuts ‘n Berries, you give them a stable job, which allows for a fulfilling life. (Stay tuned in the coming weeks to meet our local Nuts!)
So, you might have shopped local – and even supported Nuts ‘n Berries (thank you) – but how can you truly support local businesses? And what does it really mean to shop local?
Understanding What Shopping Local Means
Shopping local is the act of everyday consumers, like you, making the decision to buy your produce, clothing and day-to-day items from a local business, owned by a local resident, instead of going to a large retailer. For every dollar spent at a locally-owned establishment, nearly 45% of that revenue stays in the local community with another 9% being spent elsewhere in the state. These expenditures include employee wages/benefits, inventory, supplies, and services from other local businesses, profits accrued to the local owners, state and local taxes and charitable contributions.
For example, if Aldi’s is 2.5 miles from your house, does that qualify as shopping local? What if the cashier is your friend's grandson? Unfortunately, while this is shopping locally (proximity-based), this is not shopping LOCAL: buying from a locally-owned, small business.
In contrast to shopping at a locally-owned establishment, for every dollar spent at a chain store, only 14% of the revenue typically stays in the local community, mostly in the form of payroll. The balance of that money flows to out-of-state suppliers or back to the parent corporation.
The Impacts of Shopping Local
We’re all aware of the unfortunate closings of so many small, local businesses that had to shutter due to the Covid pandemic. Could this have been prevented? Well, not all of the closings, but maybe if we made more of a point to shop local, some of our favorite small businesses could have made it through the worst of the lockdown and subsequent falling out from the pandemic. And, local businesses aren’t out of the woods, yet, either. Impacts are still being felt from (you guessed it) supply chain issues, staffing and more. They – and we – need YOUR support and understanding. What if you could impact WHICH stores stay open and thrive just by making an effort to pay attention where you spend your money? You can.
Keep these tips in mind when considering where you buy your weekly groceries, personal care items, supplements, household supplies and even your next meal.
- SHOP SMALL: Think independent companies. If you know the owner by name and you know where they live, that’s local. You can even support local on websites like Etsy by searching for artists and craft makers in your area.
- SPEND LOCAL: Don’t purchase all your groceries from large chains just because you assume that smaller grocers are more expensive. Often smaller grocery stores are just as competitive on staples, but they lack the large marketing budget to get that word out to you. Also, think about where the money you spend to purchase a bushel of apples from Publix goes. Publix imports many of their fruits and veggies from outside the region. That money then leaves the local economy and goes to the large farm supplying the chain. When you purchase from a local grocer, that money goes back to a local farmer in your community and supports your neighbors.
- EAT LOCAL – Know where the food you eat comes from. This does more than just support small independent food producers. It also has a direct impact on your health and quality of life. When you know what’s in your food, you are likely to make better choices. Plus, food made by neighbors with love and nourishing intentions just tastes better!
We must note: There is this idea that shopping local comes with a higher price tag, but, it is possible to support your local independent businesses and stick to a budget. If you need better prices, ask for them. If you can’t find a product that you love on their shelves, ask them to order it. Small businesses often go above and beyond to earn and keep your business, so give them a chance!
Nuts ‘n Berries: Local Neighbors; Best Pricing
Let’s take a look at how Nuts ‘n Berries is working to earn your grocery & supplement business and how we hope to supply your healthy meals for years to come.
First, we’ve just launched our Smart Buy program! We’ve deeply discounted everyday items like milk, bread, eggs, cheese, rice, water, household items and more. While most grocers and other businesses are raising their prices, we are doing our best to support you and what you’ve asked of us. We've built our foundation on providing you with the healthiest, freshest options - with tons of local brands. Now we're making a promise to YOU: meeting you where your pockets are... that make us your true local neighbors. Look for our Smart Buy tags in store and easily shop the best prices in town to support your local neighborhood market!
We offer several other ways to support and save:
- My Local Monday’s – Save 5% every Monday on every local brand we carry. When you shop local at a local store, you’re truly supporting your community and local economy.
- Weekly Sales – subscribe to our email newsletters and check for signs in the store to save big on different items each week.
- Monthly Flyer Deals – Pick up our Monthly Flyer to shop amazing deals on the items you purchase every day. These items change each month.
- Rewards Program – Earn 1 point for every dollar you spend. When you earn 250 points, you receive a $5 credit on your next purchase.
- Special orders- Can’t find an item? We will happily order it for you!
- Shop online – If you can’t make it in store or prefer to shop online, we offer many of our in-store deals online.
- Curbside pickup – call us or place an order online to pick-up for free at both our Brookhaven and Decatur locations.
- Competitive pricing on all organic produce, largely from LOCAL farms.
- LOCAL AND THEN SOME: Over 1,000 items from local vendors that are produced with local ingredients are sold at Nuts ‘n Berries