27 November 2023
Change is a constant in the evolution of societies, and small local communities are no exception. However, creating, and sustaining change in these local settings can be a real challenge.
20 November 2023
In working with communities over the years, I often come across local communities that pride themselves in having no property restrictions, zoning, or permitting laws. Experience tells me this is
13 November 2023
As I have worked with dozens of communities and hundreds of businesses over the years, one thing has proven accurate 100% of the time. Great leadership brings about great changes,








Local Business Competition Strengthens Communities

20 September 2023

It is no secret that your local businesses base forms the backbone of communities, providing essential goods and services while fostering a sense of belonging and identity. In any given local community, competition among locally owned businesses may seem counterintuitive; however, it plays a vital role in making these businesses grow stronger. Let’s look at some of the economic advantages of local business competition.



Price competition is one of the most apparent benefits of competition among locally owned businesses. It is the driving force that it exerts on price competitiveness. When multiple businesses in the same niche vie for the attention of local consumers, they are forced to offer better prices, service, and promotions, resulting in cost savings for consumers.


Competition stimulates product and various services innovation. Locally owned businesses competing against each other are more likely to invest in research and development, leading to the introduction of new and improved products and services. This innovation, in turn, attracts more customers and bolsters business growth.


In the pursuit of gaining an edge over their rivals, local businesses continuously seek ways to streamline their operations. This often results in greater operational efficiency and productivity. Efficiency gains can translate into reduced costs and, consequently, more competitive prices for consumers.


Healthy competition leads to business growth, and growing businesses require a larger workforce. As locally owned businesses expand to meet increased demand, they create job opportunities within the community, reducing unemployment and improving the overall economic well-being of the area.


Competition fosters community engagement. When local businesses vie for customers, they often become more involved in community events, sponsorships, and initiatives. This engagement strengthens the bonds between businesses and residents, leading to a more vibrant and cohesive community.


Competition among locally owned businesses preserves the unique identity and character of a community. Each business contributes to the distinct flavor of the area, ensuring that it remains an attractive and memorable place to live and visit. This local identity can lead to increased tourism and support for the businesses.


Competition ensures a diverse array of choices for consumers. When multiple businesses offer similar products or services, consumers benefit from a wider range of options, allowing them to make choices that align with their preferences and needs. This diversity enhances the overall quality of life within the community.


In a competitive environment, businesses must stay attuned to market trends and consumer preferences. This adaptability ensures that local businesses remain relevant and resilient in the face of evolving economic conditions.

Additionally, diversified competition helps insulate a community's economy against external shocks. When one business faces a crisis, such as a natural disaster or economic downturn, others can step in to fill the gap, reducing the overall impact on the community.


More importantly, a thriving competitive environment encourages entrepreneurship. As individuals witness the success of local businesses, they may be inspired to start their own enterprises, further contributing to the community's economic growth and vitality. The city of Eureka Springs, Arkansas is known for its vibrant local business scene, showcases how competition among locally owned businesses can drive economic growth. It is home to numerous locally owned shops, cafes, and boutiques that thrive on competition, offering residents and tourists unique products and experiences.


Competition among locally owned businesses is a dynamic force that has a profound impact on both the economic and social aspects of a community. Competition contributes to the long-term sustainability of a community by fostering adaptability, resilience against external shocks, and a culture of entrepreneurship. Therefore, rather than viewing competition among locally owned businesses as a zero-sum game, it should be seen as a virtuous cycle that benefits the entire community. Local businesses, by competing with each other, not only thrive individually but collectively contribute to the prosperity and well-being of the community they serve. In essence, the competition among these businesses is a testament to the resilience, creativity, and interconnectedness of local communities worldwide.


John Newby is a nationally recognized Columnist, Speaker, & Publisher. He consults with Chambers, Communities, Business & Media. His “Building Main Street, not Wall Street,” column appears in 60+ newspapers and media outlets. As founder of Truly-Local, he assists chambers, communities, media, and businesses in creating synergies that build vibrant communities. He can be reached at: John@Truly-Local.org.