Sunday, November 8, 2009

Are You Doing Your Part?

When was the last time you...

1. Ate at a restaurant that a local family owned?

2. Purchased a birthday card at a locally owned small business instead of a outlet store?

3. Had to buy a gift for a child's birthday party that your child was going to? Did you frantically shop at the closest big box store for the hottest trendy gift or go to a local gift store and find a one of kind award winning toy for the same price?

4. Purchased your insurance from the local hometown guy instead of the 1-800 #?

5. Bought a wedding gift...not off the registry at a large department store, instead from your a local boutique, home decor or gift store?

6. Went to a show at a local theatre company instead of the movies at the Stadium 16 Cinema?

7. Needed a gift for a co-worker who just had a new baby...and bought it from a local store instead of the nearest baby super store?

8. Stopped at the local coffee shop in town and went inside to order your morning coffee instead of cruising through the nearest chain drive thru?

9. Watched or listened to the local news and heard about yet another small business in your area going out of business...only to think to yourself, I really should have patronized that business more often, they really did have great service, affordable prices and a great selection.

10. Ordered a pizza from the local family owned italian restaurant instead of the closest delivery chain?

11. Replaced a worn out appliance from the local appliance store on Main Street instead of the warehouse discount club?

12. Bought a gift certificate for someone as a a locally owned small business or restaurant?

13. Got your haircut by the local barber shop instead of the mall franchise?

14. Shopped at a local Farmer's Market or roadside stand on Saturday instead of the super-sized grocery store?

15. Thought about the fact that all of your purchases, no matter how small, affect your local economy?

Your individual spending at a local, independently owned small business helps that business to stay in business, helps to pay the health insurance premium for a local small business owner that you know personally, helps a small business owner to support their family and those of their employees who you may have grown up with, helps a small business purchase an ad in the local community paper to grow their business, which helps your local newspaper stay in business and helps put sales tax dollars back into improvements for your community.

If you answered yes to more than just a few of these questions, then your doing a pretty good job of thinking about where you choose to spend your dollars and spending them locally at every opportunity. If not, should you try harder?Supporting small & local business is more important now, in the current failing economy than ever before. Think about where you spend your dollars, shop local every time you can, tell people about the local places you choose to spend your dollars and ask them to do the same. *For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If that $100 was spent in a national chain, only $43 stays in the local community* (Courtesy of the 3/50 Project)

Trust me, your efforts to do this are appreciated by the local small business owners whom you do business with and remember your name and your kid's names much more than the corporate sales director at a national chain who's trying to meet a quota.

We support the 3/50 Project which was founded on these concepts - read about it here and decide which 3 local businesses you would miss most if they suddenly disappeared! Once you have thought of your 3, why not visit and help one of the local business that you love win a $5,000 small business grant.

Then tell them you chose them the next time you visit their business...the way it will make you feel is amazing!

Elizabeth Howard
Proud Owner of a Local, Independently Owned Small Business in Chester, VA

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