As parents, we always want what’s best for our kids and according to our study – so do local businesses. Our Connected Commerce team wanted to highlight the top 10 ways that local businesses benefit our children. To do this we organized a focus group consisting of parents from a wide range of income levels, marital statuses, genders, ages, number of children and cultural backgrounds. We had a great discussion and we think our method for this survey has delivered the best, most honest results.
Below is the count down, enjoy!
10. Supply Safer Environment
Local stores also help to maintain walk-able town centers that are attributed to the Main Street appeal. With more people able to walk or bike around town – traffic, habitat loss and pollution are reduced within the community. This creates a healthy and safer environment for your children.
9. Teach Community Dynamics
Apart from providing great local goods, locally owned businesses also foster an appreciation for quality service. Your children will know how it feels to be a valued customer that the owner truly cares about. This relationship also helps children understand how personable and dynamic a community can be.
8. Promote Local Produce
Many local restaurants and stores are also promoting a healthy, sustainable environment by using produce and goods from the immediate area. This is a wonderful message to send to our children because not only does it teach the importance of eating fresh produce it also teaches the importance of stimulating the domestic economy.
7. Provide Cultural Centers
Some local stores also act as a place for children to learn more about their culture. These stores will typically prepare cuisine, speak a language and celebrate holidays that are congruent with that culture. This is very beneficial to first or second generation parents who want their children to experience their traditions first hand.
6. Enhance Social Skills
Speaking of local hangouts, having a familiar place to go and meet friends or family is a great way for your children to develop social skills. We know for a fact that technology associated with texting, eCommerce and self-checkout are replacing face-to-face communication. But many respondents mentioned that by frequenting local stores, they and their children are able to connect more personally with friends and family.
5. Demonstrate Social Responsibility
There are a plethora of accounts where local businesses make great efforts to support local charities. (Read about some here!). Seeing these businesses give back to the community as a child or teen is a great way to encourage corporate responsibility. This is an important message to communicate to children before they enter the work force.
4. Enrich Community Events
We love taking our kids to the family-friendly festivals, parades and parties that our communities plans each year. They are great events to break up the humdrum feel of our everyday lives and they are enriched by the support of local vendors. Whether by donating, sponsoring or setting up booths, local businesses do a great job in making these events memorable for us and our children.
3. Support Extracurricular Activities
Throughout their childhood, our kids will be part of many clubs, groups and teams. And as we all know, with each of these comes a new fundraiser (not that I complain about the girl scout cookies #Samoas!). In our survey, parents felt that local businesses are very beneficial when they invest in our children’s activities. This can be anything from sponsoring their little league teams to donating to the drama club.
2. Offer Teenagers Employment
Businesses that employ 1-49 people (aka small/local businesses) are responsible for 28.4% of employed Americans. Small businesses are the leader in hiring young people between 16-18 years old and include coffee shops, restaurants, small retail shops, ice cream shops and more. So when your child is ready to enter the workforce, they won’t have to look far to get their first job.
1. Encourage Entrepreneurial Spirit
Knowing or seeing successful local business owners instills an entrepreneurial spirit in teenagers getting ready for college. It lets teenagers know that they don’t need to work in a corporate environment to be successful. Instead they can follow their passions and aspire to open their own business one day!
In conclusion, we found that a major motive behind some of these benefits are, in part, due to the fact that many local businesses owners are also parents. Once you realize that, it comes as no surprise that these local business owners/parents do what they can to benefit their own and their community’s children.