Have you ever stepped back to think of how often you support our local businesses? I remember working at my family's restaurants, and we were always approached by parents, community leaders, board members, and whoever else you could think of to donate or sponsor an event or fundraiser.

Guess who is always first to step up and help you out with your cause?

That's right the local mom and pops businesses. Although the Saturday after Black Friday is known as Small Business Saturday, why not just shop local on Black Friday as well?

I love going to boutiques all over the Ark-La-Tex when it comes to shopping for clothes. Someone is always there to help me with my selections and the whole dressing up thing is not my area of expertise.

I shopped for a bicycle for the first time as an adult last year, I had someone helping me find the perfect bike that met all my needs, and I took it home that same day. I feel bad for Crayton at Bike's ETC. having to hear me say "Remember I need a big booty seat!" like 12 times, but he found me my dream bike. Can Amazon do that? NOPE.

Before you decide to give your money to a big box store or shop online, here are 5 reasons why all of us need to shop local.

You're supporting a family.

Jack Hollingsworth, Thinkstock

How amazing is it that your money isn't going towards a CEO's 3rd house in Florida? Instead, your money is going to pay for some cleats or dance lessons for the business owner's kids. It's simple your money goes towards the American Dream right here in your backyard.

You're investing in the people who invest in you.

Little boy in baseball uniform practicing his swing
monkeybusinessimages, Thinkstock

These small businesses are the first people you go to when you need to find a sponsor for your kid's team or school fundraiser, make sure you support them as much as they step up to the plate for our community.

Every dollar you spend at locally owned businesses returns THREE times more money into our local economy.

Money savings, investment, making money for future, financial wealth management concept.
Indysystem, Thinkstock

We all win when we support local.

You try it before you buy it.

Favorite Sisters Boutique VIA Facebook
Favorite Sisters Boutique VIA Facebook

Have you ever purchased something online that wasn't as it seemed? It's the worst. When you shop local half the time a sales associate will be with you every step of the way helping you find the perfect outfit or size.

They’re the ultimate social networking sites.

Woman at small business entrance
Ridofranz, Thinkstock

Do you want to know what is more powerful than any Linked In profile? You, seeing someone on the regular, face to face, the casual encounters that make a lasting impression help build business relationships. It's good for your business or profession as much as it is for the locally-owned shop.

To everyone who makes a conscious effort to shop, eat, and support the local independently owned business you are what makes our community great. Please don't stop making our community grow and thrive.


LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.

50 Most Popular Chain Restaurants in America

YouGov investigated the most popular dining brands in the country, and Stacker compiled the list to give readers context on the findings. Read on to look through America's vast and divergent variety of restaurants—maybe you'll even find a favorite or two.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

More From News Radio 710 KEEL