I’ve heard folks say they shop local because small businesses donate twice as much to local non-profits over big box stores, because of job creation, because the neighborhood sales tax helps fund vital neighborhood services like police, fire, & trash collection, these are all good reasons but the number one reason I shop local is because it builds community.
"The number one reason I shop local is because it builds community."
How Does it Work?
I build my community by spending my money where I live. Shopping local builds community when a shop owner like me takes the $20 you spent on clothes for your kiddo at Little Green Bean Boutique & I walk across the street to pick up locally grown produce for dinner at Pogue’s Run Grocer (just kidding, I can’t cook so I order a sandwich from their deli counter, served by Beth who got job training from LYN House).
In turn the cashier uses some of her paycheck to send her grand-kids to classes at Brookside Dance Academy, where parents & grandparents visit in the lounge & get to know one another while their kids learn everything from good manners to plies. Ms. Brianna, the dance teacher (and First Church Pastor’s wife), takes those same dollars down to Rabble Coffee where she meets a friend for a hot drink. Josie, the Barista, takes the money that neighborhood folks like Brianna & her friend spend on delicious drinks and she orders more coffee from a local coffee roaster in town so she has plenty of caffeinated beverages for her next Board Game Night.
Carl, the owner of Gordon’s Ice Cream Parlor invites one of his customers to hang out at Rabble’s Board Game Night and then again to Karaoke Night at the Tick Tock Lounge, where they enjoy a fantastic meal served by the owner, Tammy. Carl’s friend mentions he really enjoys hanging out on the Near Eastside and is interested in moving into St. Clair Place Neighborhood so Carl introduces his friend to John (an original founding member of LYN House) & the nice folks at (NEAR) Near Eastside Area Renewal. These folks help the friend buy a house and also send him down to see John at Audrey’s Place Furniture so he can furnish his new living room locally.
The money that NEAR makes from the sale of the house is reinvested to rehab another neighborhood homes. John takes some of his paycheck down to Sister’s Comfort Food, in the John Boner Neighborhood Center, to enjoy a little lunch before he walks down to the Little Green Bean Boutique to buy a gift for his new grandchild.
Then a shop owner like me takes that $30 and stops by Bookmamas in Irvington to pick up a book that Heidi had on the Wish List for the LYN House library before she heads over to Metta Yoga where local yogi Tammi (a LYN House tutor too) is teaching Community Yoga.
What's the Result?
And the cycle continues, it continues to build our community one dollar at a time by creating safe places for people to live, shop, worship & gather.
"On average, almost 70% of your dollar stays in your neighborhood when you choose to shop local. You'll be helping to build community too."
So the next time you’re out shopping or dining & pull out your wallet, remember that on average almost 70% of your dollar stays in your neighborhood when you choose to shop local. You’ll be helping to build community too.
*The names in this post were not altered to protect the people mentioned, these are the real business owners & I hope you’ll be sure to shop with them!
How Do I Get Involved?
Join us for our "Handmade Market: Valentine's Day Edition" on Thursday, February 4th from 5-9pm! If you've shopped our Christmas holiday event you'll know to expect handmade vendors, delicious treats and beverages for a fun night out for grown ups! We're partnering with the lovely folks at the LYN House (Love Your Neighbor) to raise funds for their afterschool tutoring program so 10% of your purchases will be donated to the neighborhood organization. If you're looking for something unique to show a special someone how much you care, our makers will be here to help with gifts for everyone from the kids to adults. We'll have a crafty table set up so you can make your own Pinterest inspired gift too! Grab a friend or your Valentine & join us! Stay tuned for more details & a line up of our handmade folks. Call 317.426.4232 if you have questions.
Heather is the owner of The Little Green Bean Boutique located on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis. Her mission is to provide great quality children's clothing for families who are budget and eco-conscious. Heather is a local business owner who lives in the neighborhood and is for the neighborhood. Visit her website and check out her store on 10th Street. Many people have already benefited from the quality of merchandise she offers.