Debbie Good Miller, Executive Director of Brookline Chamber of Commerce, described the challenging situation facing our local businesses.  Ms. Miller reported that despite the potential of small business loans, all local businesses are struggling.  Here are some considerations when shopping:
6 Reasons to Shop Local
1. What Happens in the Community, Stays in the Community
Money spent locally stays in the community. Did you know every dollar spent at an independent business contributes 3 times more money into the local economy compared to money spent at a chain? It does. By shopping local, your money support another local family, maybe your neighbor whose children went to the same school as yours, vs. providing a bonus for a Big Chain executive. 
2. Roots Mean Respect
Local business owners have roots in the community, just like you. Independent business owners tend to make decisions with their community in mind. 
3. Community Involvement
Many local business owners give back to their community and donate to local causes. Is there a local cause that you support? Whether is a school’s sport or performance team trip, senior center or community support program, I bet you’ll find a number of business owners in town that have made donations to the cause. Supporting these businesses helps them support the local causes you are passionate about.   Big Chains are much less likely to offer such support!
4. Local Jobs
Locally-owned businesses create more jobs in the community since they often use other local business such as printers, accountants, lawyers, etc.
5. Better Customer Service
Small local business owners are more likely to go above and beyond for their customers because they are personally invested in their business. Reputation and quality are very important for them.  They truly care about their customers. Big business tend to focus on a national sales plan where you are another number .
6. Better Prices – Yes, Better Prices and Value
Big box stores do not control pricing of their products. They sell products at a suggested rate based on MSRP. Locally owned businesses are more flexible when it comes to pricing their products and will go above and beyond for their customers to find the best value for their money.

How to Support Small Local Businesses
during recommended social distancing
Here are a few ways you can support local businesses:
1. Buy a gift card
Grab a gift card from the place you shop regularly or might be needing services from in the future – local store, gas station, restaurant, coffee shop, travel agency, hair or nail salon. Purchase online or over the phone to use them later.
2. Connect alternatively
Follow your favorite business’ social media feeds and websites to see if they are offering other ways to connect with them, like pick-up or home delivery.
3. Shop online
Many of the local businesses offer online shopping. Hop on their website to make a digital purchase and get their product delivered to you.
4. Amplify your support
It’s totally free to give a business a shout-out on social media, leave them a kind review, or hype them up through word-of-mouth.
5.  Check out  for information and current events.
Thanks to Debbie and Marina Brodskaya for the above contributions.