Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Keep it Local, Keep it Simple

 Shop local.  Everyone everywhere touts this concept, but what does shopping local look like in action?  It can take many shapes and forms when exercised, and the impact can go a long way.  Shopping local at independent businesses keeps communities alive and thriving all while you’re also saving your sanity by not shopping in a hectic, big box environment.  Shopping local is straight forward and simple while supporting the whole well being of communities both large and small. 
Shopping local creates a lasting impact on communities while supporting small businesses, usually owned by local residents, which in turn employs other community residents guaranteeing that local dollars stay within your city or town.  Most statistics agree that shopping local generates an 80% return of revenue back in to the community. Keeping revenue local is especially important during hard times such as the all too recent recession, during slower months or even during time of road construction.  All these variables can be devastating to the small, independent business which affects the local economy and community.  Spending dollars on a local level can alter the well being of small businesses as well as the foundation of the community.
What exactly does shopping local look like?  It can include sticking close to your neighborhood, even for small things like your favorite bottle of wine or your daily morning coffee.  Set a goal to purchase one specific item at a local shop, even if it’s just one day per week. Shopping local can include visiting destination neighborhoods within town.  These neighborhood gems have boutiques and shops that carry necessities or gift items, and often have restaurants that make it ideal for an afternoon retreat.  You could commit to eating brunch or lunch each week at a small, local establishment along with shopping at the surrounding stores.  Shopping local can also include a day trip to a small, local community.  The intricate matrix of small local businesses is intertwined even if the actual city or town isn’t physically connected.  Chances are the residents of any small community visit a larger, nearby community to shop. Supporting each other ensures we’re keeping both thriving communities alive.  Making a promise to take a seasonal day trip could make a huge impact on independent businesses in all communities.  Taking an afternoon or day trip on a consistent basis will have a lasting impact on small businesses as well as your personal well being.  It’s also worth mentioning that carrying cash versus plastic can help the independent retailer, as well as your own bottom line, by avoiding additional charges associated with debit or credit cards.

Get out of the house this summer and spend time within your community.  Specifically spend leisure time in your community’s unique shops and restaurants to support the business owner, their employees and ultimately your very own community.  It’s that simple.

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