|What does it mean to shop local?|
LocalShops1.com is a grassroots effort founded in Gulfport, FL on Aug. 8, 2008. Our mission is to provide advocacy, support and education to locally owned businesses throughout the Tampa Bay region.
Why Shop, Play, Dine & Save Local?
It's all about the benefits of local ownership:
4. Help cut down the unemployment rate. It's a fact: Small businesses provide more jobs. The Big Box store might come in with a splash and many instant (low-paying) jobs, but its long-term impact hurts the community. A town with many small, local businesses employs more people than a town with a Big Box store.
5. Ensure better quality & lower prices. It's all about healthy competition. Having thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
So what does that mean? What businesses belong in the movement? It's not so simple to answer that. Clearly, Walmart is out and your neighborhood coffee shop is in. But what if that coffee shop in St. Petersburg is owned by three family members, two of whom live out of state? Should that family-owned business be excluded? We don't think so. How about a locally owned franchise, whose owners live and contribute to the local community, too?
When considering what businesses fit in the buy-local movement, we ask if they fit the spirit of the five points listed above.
In the case of the family-owned coffee shop with some family members who live out of state, for example, some profits end up going to people outside the Tampa Bay region. But we think the coffee shop qualifies as local and fits the spirit of the movement. Unsure? What if there was only one owner, who lived local, but she used most of the profits to support her parents in a different state?
What do you think? What businesses fit in the movement?
We want to know your opinions! You can share them below.