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Why Bother to Shop Local?

Why Bother To Shop Local?

We all know how much fun it is to shop here in Boca, but did you ever stop to think why it is so important that people do so?

The dollars you spend in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as those same dollars spent at national chains. According to the people at The 3/50 Project (www.the350project.net), locally-owned independent businesses return 68% of their income right back into the local economy, while national chains return 43% or less, and online retailers return absolutely nothing.

Boca Raton is unique in its character, flavor and architecture. Locally-owned businesses build strong neighborhoods, link neighbors and contribute to local causes. Important decisions are made by locally-owned businesses and by the very people who live in the community that will feel the direct impacts of those decisions. Where we shop, where we eat and have fun all makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character, and our tourism businesses also benefit. Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally, and in our community provide the most jobs to residents. By shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through the taxes that are paid, support neighborhood improvement and encourage community development. Private enterprise stimulates economic prosperity, and supporting locally-owned small businesses, each of whom selects products and services based on the needs of their local customers, helps to assure a broader range of desirable product choices.

When you buy from an independent, locally-owned business, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses and service providers, thereby continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community. The disappearance of local businesses leaves a social and economic void that is tangible and very real. Consider the real costs to a community that loses its local business base. Independent local businesses employ a wide array of supporting services. They hire architects, designers, cabinet shops, sign makers and contractors for construction. Opportunities grow for local accountants, insurance brokers, computer consultants, attorneys, advertising agencies and others to help run it. Local owners with much of their life savings invested in their businesses have a natural interest in the long-term health of the community. Community-based businesses are essential to charitable endeavors, frequently serving on local boards, and supporting a variety of causes.

So, now that we’ve established why we should all shop local, how can each of us make a difference?

  1. Make the decision to look for and patronize locally owned businesses wherever possible.
  2. Dine at local, independent restaurants and treat yourself to unique and personal dining experiences.
  3. When you shop online with out-of-state companies, it doesn’t contribute a dime to our local economy. Check for local businesses who offer the same products.
  4. Tell your family and friends why it is important to shop local. We all create our communities. Let’s continue to create a strong and vibrant Boca Raton as a legacy to our children and all of those who follow us.

Every time each of us spends a dollar, we would do well to weigh the full value of our choices, not solely to ourselves immediately, but for the future we want in our own community.

“Live Local…Look Local…Shop Local…Love Local”

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