Words By: Melissa Poux-Williams
You live there, you go out with friends here; you buy fresh fruit and veggies there and frequently stop the coffee shop not too far from your home. Small businesses are everywhere. They are vital to the success of the economy.
Shopping locally not only helps the economy but also creates a sense of support in the community. Many people take pride in shopping locally. Supporting small businesses creates jobs, encourages entrepreneurship, product diversity and helps build prosperity and character within the community.
Contributing writer to Forbes magazine, Nickel states in her article, Shopping Local vs. Shopping Locally, for every dollar spent at a locally owned establishment, nearly 45 percent of that revenue stays in the local community. Another 9 percent is spent elsewhere in the state. These expenses include employee wages and benefits, inventory, supplies, services from other local businesses, profits accrued to the local owners, state and local taxes, and charitable contributions. Why not shop locally?
Locally Owned Tallahassee or LOT is a volunteer-based organization that brings locally owned businesses in the Tallahassee area together to help promote shopping local and help keeping money recycled within our community.
Tallahassee is home to a plethora of small businesses. Evan Rossi, manager at local coffee shop, All Saints Café located on Railroad Sq Ave.believes shopping locally gives the community its own character:
“It provides character to the community, to the neighbor. A chain business, a franchised business, part of their business model is to maintain that homogeneity. Local and independent business’ have their own character and they influence character of the community. A good sense of character can allow a city to flourish, ” Rossi said.
Holly Galotti, owner of local boutique Olde Fields Clothing Co., on Gaines Street, loves shopping locally because she is able to find unique items and loves keeping the money in the community.
“I do like to shop local and one of the main reasons is to get unique items, not everyone going to have what you can get locally. I also like that it keeps money in our economy, here in town,” she said.
Shopping local is good for the environment because local purchases require less transportation. Tallahassee StarMetro transit bus system can take you all over town to your favorite local shops. The city’s electrically charged buses help in reducing gas emissions all while allowing fellow natives to shop locally and keep money flowing in their community.
Less transportation equals… you guessed it! A reduced carbon footprint on Mother Earth.
Shopping locally also keeps the community unique; it makes it home.
Bigger corporations cater to other bigger corporations not considering the little man. Our local shops are our little man. Larger corporations in Tallahassee such as Walmart and Starbucks take away the intimacy and wholesomeness of buying a specific product. Big businesses can’t micro-manage their operations in the same way as small mom-and-pop stores. In this beautiful city shopping at our local farmers market located by Lake Ella, or grabbing a coffee at All Saints Cafe creates a economic stimulus that a larger business could not.
Local shops in Tallahassee are one-of-a-kind and are an integral part of creating a distinctive character of a community. By choosing to shop locally, you not only enjoy a more special and personal experience but you are helping build a community, strengthen your economy and lower taxes.