How often do you shop at a small, locally-owned business? If you are a frequent visitor to Shoppes at Thornebrook, the answer is probably “A LOT!”.
We take pride in being Gainesville’s Shopping Center of Locally-Owned Businesses. Because of that, we’ve assembled 10 reasons we think it’s important to support local businesses in your community.
1. Strengthen Local Economy
When you buy from small, locally-owned businesses, service providers, and farms, you are helping to strengthen the economic base of the community.
2. Create a more sustainable world
Locally-owned businesses tend to make more local purchases requiring less fuel for transportation and in the case of local farmers, growing food that is in-season and supported by the local ecosystem.
3. Support Non-Profit Organizations
Did you know that non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses? Many of these are local organizations that help you and your neighbors.
4. Choices to Fit the Community
Local businesses listen to the needs of the community and respond with products and services that best fit those needs. For instance, Ilene’s Gator Store in Thornebrook carries an extensive line of unique Gator clothing that you won’t find in other cities (they even have Gator face masks now!). Another example is Life Unplastic, a shop that supports Gainesville’s vision of greater sustainability.
5. Encourage Local Investment
When existing local businesses thrive, more entrepreneurs are encouraged to do the same. Additionally, many skilled workers are drawn to jobs at small businesses that place more value on employees as integral to business operations.
6. Support Local Families
Local businesses are owned by people who live there and who love their community. They take pride in their community and act in it’s best interest. When you buy from a locally-owned store, you are helping a family in your community pay for piano lessons, put a new roof on their home, or send their child to college.
7. Better Service
Locally-owned business owners get to know their customers, learn their preferences and their unique needs and wants. They are more willing to special order items and carry new items that match the unique needs of their customer base.
8. Create Jobs
Did you know that small local businesses are the largest employer nationally? Moreover, many local business owners value their employees almost like family.
9. Preserve Community Uniqueness
Every community has it’s own character and this is largely determined by the local business owners, artists, and other creators. When a community has a unique character, it becomes a destination that others look forward to visiting and a source of pride for residents.
10. Support Innovation
The innovative spirit that motivates entrepreneurs means that local businesses are often centered around solving a specific problem in the community (or at-large). We face all sorts of problems and support local creative efforts to solve problems large and small creates a more innovative world.