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Business Growth
Apr 6, 2022

Supporting Local Businesses Helps Communities Thrive

Sponsored Content provided by Sarah Stone - VP Retail Experience, Excite Credit Union

It is impossible not to hear about the importance of supporting small businesses.  But aside from it simply being a positive, feel-good story that media outlets realize will get attention, does anyone really fully understand the reasons why it is so important to give small businesses the support they need?

An obvious reason to shop local is that small businesses are job-creators.  Because of this and many other reasons, the visionaries who strike out on their own and start a business have a significant, positive impact on our economy. 

The people that own and operate sole proprietorships and small local businesses are, in many cases, our friends and neighbors.  Sure, it is easy to sell that feel-good story about the benefits of supporting local businesses.  However, the numbers make the point even more compelling:  when you shop local, $68 out of every $100 is reinvested back into the community, compared to just $43 when you shop at a larger retailer.    

There are many other benefits associated with shopping local, such as how supporting local entrepreneurs helps to strengthen local influence, ensuring that key decision-makers have a vested interest in serving the communities where they live and work. Shopping local also helps to shore up social and economic relationships, since local business owners often choose to work with other local business owners. 

Additionally, it is worth noting that over 92 percent of small business owners make personal donations to charities.  Goods purchased locally do not have to travel as far so there is less of an ecological footprint, and patronizing small businesses allows for more creativity, originality and a broader range of products.

For these and many other reasons, we are increasing the amount of support we offer to small businesses by developing new partnerships and providing donations, as well as launching new products aimed at helping entrepreneurs get started or continue on their path to success.  

Working to support local families, businesses, and neighborhoods has been a part of our plan since the beginning.  Instead of concentrating on delivering profits for shareholders and pursuing a strategy focused on growth at the expense of everything else, our charter is based on making the best possible decision for our members and community.  

During the pandemic, that equated to waiving nearly $340,000 in fees for our members, providing almost $40 million in mortgage forbearance, and around $1.5 million in small business PPP loans.  We strongly believe that when you support local businesses, you support local families and when you support local families, communities thrive.


Excite Credit Union is a small, community-based cooperative that only serves two major markets, San Jose, California and Wilmington, North Carolina. As a nonprofit that is fully owned by the membership, Excite Credit Union is often able to offer lower rates and fees than most competing financial institutions, in addition to providing access to 30,000 fee-free ATMs. Choosing Excite Credit Union as a financial partner ensures access to loans and credit cards with lower fees, savings products with higher returns and a positive impact on the local community.

Sarah Stone is the Director of Retail Experience for Excite Credit Union in North Carolina, overseeing retail branches, business development, and community relations. Sarah has worked in credit unions over the past decade. In late 2019, she moved to Wilmington and joined the Excite team. She is passionate about the work Excite Credit Union does in the Cape Fear Region. 

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