Op-Ed: Reasons To Shop Local In Crown Heights

by Binyamin A.

While perusing through a design publication recently, I can across an article titled, “10 Reasons To Shop Local,” and it struck a chord with me.

We in crown Heights love to shop to save pennies, weighing each dollar spent on the effects on our wallets. During this trying time though there may be more benefit in shopping locally.

So I sat down and came up with some reasons why shopping locally here in Crown Heights is actually in our own benefit.

1. What we spend in the Community, Stays in the Community

When you spend money at a Jewish owner store in Crown Heights, a large portion of the profit gets spent again in the community. Did you know every dollar spent at an independent business contributes three times more money into the local economy compared to money spent at a chain store? So supporting your local clothing store, fruit store, grocery store, pharmacy or hardware store is actually likely to mean more local amenities, and will mean some more money towards your local infrastructure.

2. Local Businesses Make Local Decisions

Whether it’s a shabbos urn or not means little to big chain stores and online retailers. The more you shop at your local store, the more options they will be able to provide that fits your needs. If you only come to them for your specialty items though, you may find them without options for the items you need, or perhaps not open at all. Keep them in business, and they will always be there when you need them.

3. Local Jobs

Locally-owned businesses create more jobs within the community, since they often use other local businesses such as workers, printers, accountants, lawyers, repair people etc. Keeping everyone (perhaps even you) in business.

4. Community Involvement

Many local business owners in Crown Heights give back to their community, and donate to local mosdos. Is there a local cause that you support? I bet you’ll find a number of business owners in Crown Heights have made donations to the cause. Supporting them actually means supporting what you care about.

5. Much Better Customer Service

Small business owners are more likely to go above and beyond for their customers, because they are personally invested in their business. With their personal reputation on the line, the quality and extent of their customer service are very important to them. Have you ever forgot your dry cleaning erev shabbos? Needed produce for a party motzei shabbos? It’s a personal favor to a local friend. Good luck trying to get that from a customer service representative at a chain store.

6. Entrepreneurs are Awesome, and We Need Them To Stay In The Community

How does a community thrive? When individuals leave low paying jobs and achieve prosperity as an entrepreneur. Putting years of hard work into a business is a way of settling roots, a commitment to the community. Supporting someone who is striving to succeed on their own helps support entrepreneurship, and encourages others to follow in their footsteps in building a strong, stable, and sustainable community.

Below we have a chart that shows some ways that every dollar you spend at a local store stays in our neighborhood.