What’s the first thing that come to mind when you hear “support local”? For me, it would be the Halifax Farmers’ Market. Why is it that we have this conception that “support local” always relates to fresh foods?

Supporting local involves more than just buying fresh fruit and vegetables at the local market. Below you will find the top four reasons why you should support local businesses.

1.) Keep your money where it belongs. By supporting local businesses you are keeping your money close to home, and reinvesting it into your community. Just the thought of paying someone local for something as simple as dry cleaning sounds great to me. It’s a comforting feeling knowing exactly where your money goes.

2.) Large corporations do not have the same respect and appreciation for their customers as small local businesses do. Local businesses build lasting relationships with their customers and almost always offer discounts to loyal customers. For example, I live right near a corner convenience store. I walk into this place at least three days out of the week to pick up a quick lunch, pack of gum or even some eggs when need be. I am considered a “loyal customer” and I didn’t have to be told this (although I have been multiple times). Often I walk in quickly in a rush and they won’t even let me pay. Why would they do this and potentially lose money? Well, they know I will be back. Just because they did that, I will not go to another convenience store. They know that they have my business all the time. After having an experience like this, what would ever make me go to a large chain store for a pack of gum?

3.) Local businesses offer more diverse products. Imagine life without local businesses. Where would you go pick up that beautiful homemade custom birthday card you ordered the other day? You wouldn’t have many options besides ordering online. The more local businesses there are, the more diverse and unique the products surrounding you will be. There will always be Kraft peanut butter, but where can you find handcrafted peanut brittle wrapped in pretty tissue paper except in your own neighborhood?

4.) Local businesses create an inviting community. The entire well-being of your community is improved by having successful local businesses in the area. These local businesses can partner with each other and can also sponsor local events, helping to enrich the community. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get a large corporation such as Pepsi to donate to your local elementary school raffle.

It’s true that local businesses and the people who support them make the world go round.