Our Stories

Why Shopping Local in Champaign County Matters

June 12, 2020

In the greater Champaign County area, we're lucky to have incredible small businesses and local staples in our retail community. When it comes to shopping for everything from art supplies and toys to home decor and clothing, making the choice to shop local goes a long way. Everyone knows that supporting local businesses is important, but it's worth a reminder just how much of a difference it can make. 

Why Shopping local matters

A list of every reason to shop local could go on for pages and pages. Instead, here are five reasons why shopping local in Champaign County matters.

Putting money into local businesses puts money into your community

Local businesses are owned by friends, family, and neighbors. Plus, local businesses employ many of us who live in the greater Champaign County area. When you choose to shop locally, you're choosing to put money back into your community. The U.S. Small Business Association actually says that for every $100 you spend at local businesses, $68 will stay in the community. Local businesses are often heavily involved in local non-profits as well as ensuring they provide the utmost service to residents and visitors.

supporting local means growing local

There are a lot of places to shop in our local business community that wouldn't be open if it wasn't for locally-minded residents. When you support local businesses, a trend and behavior emerge that lends itself to the growth of more local businesses. Even small changes to one or two things you regularly shop for can go a long way for current businesses and building a foundation for future endeavors from local entrepreneurs.

Local Businesses influence regional economies

Nationwide, it's estimated that small businesses make up nearly 99% of the businesses that exist across the country. In the greater Champaign County area, there are a ton of local businesses spread throughout downtown areas and across communities. When you take the time to support local, you're ensuring that the many businesses that make up our regional economy do more than survive: you ensure they thrive. When our local businesses are strong, our Outside of Ordinary area can do what it does best: provide people with an incredible place to live, work, and visit when travelers are ready.

Making Meaningful connections

If you head into a local business to grab a new outfit for summer or gardening supplies to spruce up your yard, you're likely doing more than shopping. Local business owners and employees make meaningful connections with us by sharing their passion and expertise. There's nothing like walking into a local shop because you know you will be taken care of every single time you walk through the door. Cashiers and sales associates become friends the more you frequent local retail, and those people helping you find what you need become lifelong friends.

Community Pride and progress

A strong sense of community pride comes from shopping locally. It takes a conscious effort to step into a local shop and spend your hard-earned money with members of your community. That effort leads to progress for the entire greater Champaign County area. We're all in this together, and it's been incredible seeing how residents have rallied around local retail, restaurants, and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you've found a new favorite during these past months or spent more time researching local businesses, making that practice a habit rather than a phase goes a long way. Our Outside of Ordinary community is exceptional because of the businesses and residents that call this area home. As we transition little by little back to a new normal in Champaign County, don't forget to support local today, tomorrow, and always. 

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