The week will serve as a time to reflect on the importance of economic democracy and community self-determination by celebrating locally-owned independent businesses in Raleigh and throughout the nation.
"Shop Local Raleigh is joining other local alliances and partner organizations nationwide – thousands of independent business owners and citizens who are participating in Independents Week – to celebrate our great independent businesses who exemplify the uniqueness of Raleigh," Jennifer Bradshaw, executive director of Shop Local Raleigh, said.
"Being new to the Shop Local Raleigh movement, I'm finding we have a reason to celebrate," she continued. "Many of our Raleigh friends and neighbors embody the spirit of entrepreneurism and individuality in our community. Our citizens are integral to ensuring we keep these businesses that help define who we are and contribute to our sense of place."
Shop Local Raleigh is meant to educate consumers about the benefits of buying local and encourage patronage of the city's independently-owned businesses. This is important, as buying locally can:
Boost the economy - Buying from local retailers helps to support the local economy, because local business owners spend more money with local service providers, which in turn continues to strengthen the economy of the local community.
Contribute to local character - The one-of-a-kind businesses in Raleigh are an integral part of the city's distinctive character.
Increase local sourcing - Because local businesses allow for more local purchases and require less transportation and development, they advocate for less sprawling, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
Create more jobs - Local businesses are considered to be the largest employers throughout the nation, therefore providing the most jobs to local residents.
Offer better customer service - Local businesses typically hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling, and those people can take more time to get to know their customers, as compared to large corporations.
Provide more investment in the community - Local businesses are owned by the same people who live in the local community, and are therefore less likely to leave and more invested in the future of the community.
Contribute to nonprofits - Nonprofit organizations receive an average of 250 percent more support from small business owners than they do from large business owners.
Create competition - A community that is home to tens of thousands of small businesses is more likely to ensure innovation and low prices than a community that is home to a few large companies. Another plus, local companies choose the products they sell based on the interests and needs of their local customers as opposed to a national sales plan.