Expert Interview with Keri Senderak About the Importance of Local Businesses for Mint

Keri Senderak of Save Local Now took the time to chat with us about local businesses and the role they have in the economy. The mission of Save Local Now is to grow local businesses and help communities thrive. Not only do local businesses help the economy, but they can also help individuals save money. Keri shares an insider's view of local businesses and how some current trends are coming into play.

Why is buying local so important to businesses and the economy as a whole?

At the most basic level, buying local ensures that more money stays in the community. In fact, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned store, $45 remains in the local economy. By shopping at the local "mom and pop" style store instead of these "big box" corporations, consumers can rest assured knowing that they're doing their part at keeping their communities unique and thriving.

How does buying local save money?

Buying local saves people money in several ways. These small businesses are close to home, meaning that many people don't need to travel far to get to them. Products (like fruit and produce) are made or grown at local locations, so they don't have to travel far to get where they're going. This means that, in many cases, there is no middle man. This translates to lower prices for the business owner and, of course, the consumer.

What are the current trends you're seeing in local communities?

Saving money by buying local. I've noticed that many chambers of commerce (more specifically those that have partnered with Save Local Now) are encouraging "buy local" initiatives. Now more than ever chambers and their small businesses recognize that when consumers buy local, they are also assisting in the creation and retention of jobs.

Where do you see local businesses in the next few years? Few decades?

I only see communities and their local businesses growing stronger. Many of us concern ourselves with "what's trending." These "buy local" promotions are most definitely trending, but I also believe they're here to stay. People genuinely care about their communities; they want a booming downtown area, safe streets to walk on, job opportunities and friendly atmospheres. Honestly though, who doesn't? I don't see small business going anywhere any time soon.

You partner closely with chambers of commerce. What are some things you do together?

We partner exclusively with chambers of commerce to help their member businesses. We discovered that many of these small business owners didn't have the tools they need to ensure a successful business. We void that gap by partnering with the chamber. The chamber pays for SLN services, and their members get SLN as an added benefit for being a member of the chamber. Currently, Save Local Now is in 27 states, and more than 80,000 member businesses have received SLN as a NO-COST member benefit. Here at Save Local Now, we are all about the small business owner, and will do whatever we can to guarantee the success of that business, the community they're in, and the chamber of commerce that supports them.

You can follow Keri and Save Local Now on Facebook and Twitter.