WVXU: Just like businesses, shoppers need to 'pivot' too

In order to keep local favorites afloat, shoppers must change their behaviors

Local businesses are the bedrock of the economies of their respective communities. But the lean times created by the coronavirus pandemic has made it more important than ever before to shop local. 

In a news piece about the importance of shopping local, Cincinnati NPR affiliate WVXU turned to the expertise of University of Cincinnati associate professor Tom Dalziel, associate professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship at UC's Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

Dalziel, former head of UC's Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, told WVXU that 90-95% of businesses in the U.S. economy are small- or medium-sized. Even through recessionary periods, those businesses create 67% of new jobs. During normal economic periods they create 70-75% of new jobs, he said.

"So really, the backbone of our economy and of job creation in our country are these small businesses," he says. "And therefore, as we look at our retail purchasing patterns, we need to be thinking about the impact this has on our neighbors and our community and the positive difference we can make by buying small and buying local."

Shopping local and shopping online aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, Dalziel said. Roughly half of all Amazon sales are through third-party retailers, and shopping directly from a small business's website cuts out the middle man. Websites such as Etsy are a good way to support local makers, he added. 

Featured image/Tim Mossholder/Unsplash