Today’s consumers take pride in patronizing local, one-of-a-kind restaurants, markets, shops and startups. In fact, according to a study conducted by AT&T, 90 percent of customers shop at small businesses on at least a monthly basis, and about half shop local weekly. Supporting companies that are unique to their area is a core value of younger generations in particular. Nearly half of those surveyed in the AT&T study do this to support local employment and to keep money in their communities rather than give it to a chain.

For these companies, boosting their profiles as a source of local pride means free advertising. To generate more enthusiasm and bring in new business, business owners can burnish their credentials as a community staple to please customers. However, to enjoy the immense benefits of being viewed as a valued resource and partner by the community, companies must first build strong brand awareness and identity.

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