Are You Supporting Your Local Small Businesses?

Why Local Small Businesses Need Your Help

You need more light bulbs, paper towels, toilette paper -- whatever. Where do you go? If your first response is Wal-Mart, you may not be doing your part to support local small businesses. Forgoing the little guy to save a few dimes here and there may cost you big time in the long run. Here's why.

Why Cheaper Isn't Always Better

Yes, it's true that the big discount chain stores offer items for less, but the fact of the matter is that these stores often cut costs by paying their employees poverty-level wages with no access to much-needed employee benefits. Add that to the fact that they often put local small businesses out of business and you have to ask yourself if the discounts are worth it.

Customer What?

Customer service is also another issue with these big chain stores that pay next to nothing. Employees who aren't valued tend not to value customers, and it shows.

What poverty-level wages often equate to are uneducated staff members who couldn't care less about how customers are treated. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, but they are far and few between.

Let's take a situation my friend recently ran into for example. She's an elderly woman, age 87. She was at one of these big discount stores when the item she was buying rang up for much more than the store shelf said it was. She went to the service desk, where instead of having someone check the shelf, the service rep simply scanned the item at the register and said "Nope, that's what it costs."

Now isn't that ridiculous? Of course if it scans in wrong the first time the price is going to come up wrong the second time. Chances are a local small business would have looked at the price on the shelf.

Is the frustration of dealing with service-related headaches really worth the few dollars you'll save. Local small businesses would never treat you this way -- they can't afford to.

Remember the Little Guys

Do yourself a favor. Shop local small businesses whenever you can. It's the right thing to do.

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