“Because the local store is more likely to recycle its profits into the community, rather than shipping them off to a CEO on the other side of the country. Because while efficiency is good for stockholders, it is generally bad for employees. Local businesses tend to employ more people than a big box. A hardware store with 10 people and a grocery store with 10 people is better than a combo store with 15. Because wages tend to be better at locally owned operations (though this is disputed in some studies). Because competition and choice works out better for the consumer than a monolithic chain. All of which is not to say you should feel obligated to shop exclusively at local stores, but hey, isn’t 5 bucks worth having a viable, lively downtown rather than a megachain of parking lots out by the freeway?