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6 reasons to choose local businesses over box stores

SPONSORED — These days, it seems like big box stores and giant corporations run the world. Believe it or not, those chains likely won’t serve you – or your community – as well as your friendly neighborhood business owner. There are myriad benefits that come along with shopping locally, so maybe it’s time to break the chain.

Character is priceless

Let’s be honest, big box stores can be attractive. After all, they often offer large selections of products at low prices. But that selection still won’t be large enough to offer you what you really want – something unique and full of character. As big companies get bigger, the world becomes more homogenized – and not in a good way. If you want to own something you won’t find in homes across America (or even the world), shopping locally is the way to do it. Not to mention, you’re bound to find something rooted in your community and region – literally. Issaquah Cedar and Lumber, offers responsibly sourced building materials and products produced in the Pacific Northwest.

The dollars stay here

Love where you live? Show it. When you choose small businesses over big box stores, you’re keeping your money right where you want it – in your community. In fact, according to the Institute for Self Reliance, $100 spent at a locally owned business generates $68 of economic activity in the community. Spend $100 at a chain and that number dwindles to $43. It’s kind of like recycling – the more you do it the bigger the benefit for everyone.

It boosts local jobs and wages

Big businesses might create jobs, but those positions likely aren’t benefiting you at a personal level. That said, when you choose locally owned businesses over big box stores, you’re supporting job creation right where it counts – at home. Additionally, supporting the small guys helps these businesses hire qualified sales people and provide higher wages than their chain competitors.

Expertise comes standard

Shop a big box store for a niche product and you’re unlikely to find an expert to help steer you in the right direction. That’s why shopping small can be so beneficial. Sure, you can buy a computer from a store that also carries toilet paper, but you likely won’t find a tech genius there to help you decide which model is best for you. Looking for building materials for decks and other projects? Choose a business that can help you decide what wood is best for your aesthetic and the local weather.

It can help protect the environment

Shop a big box store and you might find a deal, but you likely won’t have any idea where and how that product was manufactured. If you love the environment and in the Pacific Northwest, what’s not to love? It’s important to be informed about where and how your products are manufactured or created. Local businesses often sell materials manufactured on site or sourced from the region, greatly reducing their carbon footprint. Additional, small shops can likely tell you how each product is created or sourced, so you can be sure you’re doing your part for the environment – locally and globally.

The customer is most important

The customer should always come first, but when it comes to big box stores, that’s likely not the case. Large corporations are interested in satisfying shareholders and increases profits. This might not always be in the best interest of the customer. However, customers are the lifeblood of locally owned retailers, so you can rest assured your satisfaction is of the highest priority. Additionally, small businesses can tailor their products and services to the needs of local customers, not the masses. That means you’re more likely to find exactly what you need.

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