Into the Ether & Shopping Independent
For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community. For every $100 spent at a national chain, only $43 remains in the community. But when you shop online, where does that money go? According to my local bagel shop, it goes "into the ether".
I've always been aware of the "shop local" movement. Living in a town with a buzzing downtown area, I see how the movement gets pushed. Being the owner of a small business, I am certainly more aware and sensitive to it, but guess what? I'm an online shopper at heart.
I can't buy bagels online, so that particular Friday morning, I woke up early and headed out to my local bagel shop and bought a few fresh bagels with some delicious schmear. It was there that I saw the above statistic hanging by the menu on the wall.
I won't deny that it pissed me off. It was a freaking sweeping statement If I've ever read one.
You can't just assume that every dollar spent online goes nowhere. You can shop independent companies online. For every person practicing their craft on Etsy, that starts at home in their community. Every small business has to start somewhere, and that's where they live.
More importantly, there are plenty of online companies desperately trying to break into the brick and mortar world but they can't for various reasons. Either lack of real estate, leasing agents judging businesses unfairly, funds, or support. This bagel shop is lucky to have a space to provide their goods.
Broad & Jones may live under a digital roof, but we're still a local business. I have a business license that says so. Better yet, we're a business that supports other independent and local businesses. If it wasn't for online stores and crafters, B&J wouldn't have any inventory. This is why we should support every business, no matter how they approach their endeavor.
Let me rock your world, bagel shop. The 9 dollars I just spent on bagels came from my online store so take that and your "ether".
Shop independent either online, or in store and don't be an ass.