Jessica Schussler

Shopping Local Is Good For Business

By Jessica Schussler | Lion Plumbing Supply | Miami, FL

Let’s talk about the good ole days for a sec, okay?

I’m talking about the days when supporting small, local businesses were what you did, just because that’s what you had. The days before super retailers were on every corner, and definitely before the days where you could hire someone to shop and deliver your groceries through an app. Those memories are faint, but I have them. The local butcher we would go to on the weekends after we ate at our favorite hole-in-the-wall bagel shop, where coffee was never more than $1.50 and you got as many refills as you wanted, both of which are still alive and a small business today in my old neighborhood today.

I’m about as veracious a millennial as they come as you know, so basically for as long as our showroom’s been open (since 2005) I’ve been an Amazon customer. I am a product of my environment, and also hugely in favor of Prime’s 2-day shipping capabilities, which also launched in 2005 and is not a coincidence; but I digress.

There is something about supporting a small business that just feels: fulfilling; even to a millennial like me.

Small businesses’ all almost unanimously have one thing in common: they started with someone who had a passion, and they expect their team to continue that passion with every transaction, whether it’s selling very expensive toilets or artisanal soaps and lotions. 

When you shop at local businesses, you’re likely getting something that’s unique and exclusive, which for us isn’t always true with product, but—you also get me. Plumbing, like so many other things, is something you should definitely never try to buy online while unsupervised by a professional. Our parts counter has been in business since 1956, and is known as the best and busiest counter in the State. That starts from the top and flows down throughout our company.

It starts with us. We need to lead by example and shop local, support the communities we live and work in. 

Shop small and support your local showroom

We’re all made up of our own unique offerings that support and promote our community. We offer better customer service and experiences, and we are proud of what and who we represent. After all, it’s the small businesses that built America, one community at a time.

#TeamLion is regularly involved in several non-profit organizations involved in “giving back” to the community, as well as annual Habitat for Humanity donations. And, when the youth football and cheerleading league I volunteered for needed a sponsor for the 90lb Lady Jaguars, it was thanks to my small business and others like it that contribute year after year for the underprivileged, local kids. Plus, taxes paid by small, local businesses are typically spent to support schools, parks, roads, and other local programs that benefit the community.

One of the best things about the small business I work for is that we really are a family, in fact, I am usually asked if I’m related to the owner, or if it’s a family business. I’ve even been told that being “so good at plumbing is such a strange thing to just get into” – which is kind of true, but that’s the thing with small businesses. We’re all made up of our own unique offerings that support and promote our community. We offer better customer service and experiences, and we are proud of what and who we represent. After all, it’s the small businesses that built America, one strange thing to be into, by one community at a time.

So while we probably won’t always be the fastest, the cheapest, or the most convenient, shopping small and local will almost always guarantee you a better experience and a superior product, all while supporting a local high school football team, or Johnny’s karate lessons, or Kate’s college education. Not some 6 figure bonus for a corporate executive to fill his garages or use on a vacation.

Shopping Local Starts With You

Go to local events and fairs. Some small businesses can’t afford Google or Facebook campaigns, instead, they go to these places where you can try and experience their products from a different perspective, which makes you connected to that new product or service. It allows you to believe in the brand.

Berna Blanco | Lion Plumbing Supply | Miami, FL

Recekah Covay DPHA

Shopping locally means more in 2020 than ever before. Right now, it is paramount to invest in our local economies. We have all become even more aware of personal local connections. Local businesses and merchants care and are more than just the click of a mouse. Over time, a thriving and happy community based on referrals will build a more trusted and secure future and brick and mortar landscape. DPHA and LPG  hardware retailers have and will always ensure a home isn’t filled with a one size fits all model. Their sustainable, local, and tailored expert approach is only one other important reason that they are here to work with you from job conception to completion.

Rebekah Covay | DPHA

We all have people in our lives who are hard to shop for. Usually, it’s the people who don’t really need anything. For me, it’s my in-laws. By shopping for them at a local gift or specialty shop I can find something unique, unexpected, and most importantly, thoughtful. Usually with a great background story that I can share. Win-win!

Angela Rieken | Holt Supply | Bloomington, IL

Try searching for business types vs. items on Google. I have a habit of searching for the items I need on Google then buying them online. I make a conscious effort to search for local businesses vs. an item. For example, art supplies are readily available online and in big box stores like Michaels Crafts; now I search “art stores near me” to try to find local places that have the supplies I need. After a quick phone call to the business, I am usually on my way to get what I need!

Francesca Messina | Luxury Products Group

I love shopping local – I prefer a local restaurant, boutique, or salon over a chain.  Aurora, OH does a lot of Small Business Saturday events that they try to promote on local FB pages and in our weekly communication that goes out in print. Keep an eye out for these events in your local community and participate!! Remember to promote your events and showroom in these local circles. 

Stephanie Palmer | IMARK Plumbing

I always shop where service is special when possible.  So I gravitate toward the restaurants that are local, and never chain.  I shop at local farm stands for provisions whenever possible. I buy local whenever I purchase an item I know will need service in the future – lawnmowers, bikes, sporting goods – instead of using Amazon or Dick’s Sporting Goods. In many cases, the pricing isn’t more than what you would pay at a chain.

Jeff MacDowell | Luxury Products Group