Maybe you’ve noticed the change in the air; more and more consumers are forgoing big box stores for smaller businesses in their communities. The “love local” movement means that an increasing number of people are looking to invest in their communities, supporting the restaurants, shops, salons, and bars that bring color to their neighborhoods and strengthen their local economy.

Why consumers “love local”: Research shows a number of compelling reasons customers are supporting their local businesses:

Personal service: Fifty-two percent of consumers shop locally because they say local businesses pro- vide better, more personalized service. Take a local coffee shop, where regulars are greeted by name, have their deepest coffee-related questions answered by passionate and knowledgable staff , and enjoy a feeling of warmth and community during every visit.

When you spend $100 with a local, independent business, $48 stays in Amarillo compared to $14 from chain stores and $0 if you shop online!

Supporting the local economy: Small businesses bene t their local economy at every level. They hire local residents, work with local vendors and contribute to the city’s tax base. By making purchases at a small businesses, consumers know they’re helping their neighbors and their city thrive. Fifty-six percent of consumers say they shop locally because of the bene t to the local economy.

Higher quality items: In many cases, small businesses offer higher quality products, meals, drinks, and services than customers can find at large competitors. Some small businesses make their own products from scratch, while others source their goods from reputable manufacturers to ensure the highest quality. And that’s a compelling selling point: about 30 percent of consumers say they prefer to shop at small businesses for the quality.