Why You Should Support Your Local Businesses


Photo of South Bay Aquatics. Photo by Hana Homma

As kids, we often have fond memories of asking our parents to head to a McDonald’s or chain restaurant on a ride home. Since then, whenever we go out to get food, it usuallly happens to be a chain restaurant. In n’ Out, California Pizza Kitchen, Papa John’s, Panda Express. You name it — we’ve all probably been there. But what about the local, family-owned businesses? 

When we hear family-owned business, we tend to think of a quaint little store, with a diverse menu and cultural background. Most frequently, a family-owned business tends to be a restaurant with a dedicated owner. Each owner starts their restaurant dreaming of success and serving their unique cuisine to the consumer, but more often than not, people tend to choose a chain business when asked what they want to eat. Chain businesses have multiple locations for a reason; they’ve already been successful. Whereas most family-owned businesses are at the beginning of their road to success, about to reach the peak, or have already experienced their best sales and are now dwindling in the number of customers. 

Inside Natureba Juice Bar. Photo by Hana Homma.

Though sometimes unnoticeable, local businesses are everywhere. According to Fundera writer Catherine Giese, there are “30.2 million small businesses in the U.S., which accounts for 99.9% of all U.S. businesses.”

As the backbone of America, local businesses contribute to the majority of the U.S. economy. But often media tends to focus attention on large enterprises or arguably the country’s largest companies. Without the support system of the media, businesses tend to lack outreach to their consumers, which in turn, can hurt their success. 

Family-owned businesses continue to have high hopes of growing their enterprise. Places like Natureba Juice Bar and South Bay Aquatics are local businesses, hoping to make a living. Supporting places like these gives them a chance of possibly becoming a chain franchise.

Fortunately, local businesses are on the rise, according to Bridget Weston, writer for the website, Score.She explains that “91% of Americans patronize a small business at least once a week.”

Even a hashtag showing support for local businesses has been made. #Shopsmall is a “nationwide movement to celebrate small businesses every day… and help[s] communities thrive and stay vibrant,” states American Express. This hashtag is mostly seen on social media, strewn with photos of patrons visiting their local business. Shopping at local businesses creates a sense of community, and shows support for a neighborhood that you call home. So the next time you think about going to a popular chain, consider taking a moment to research the local small businesses in our community and contributing to their success.