Tomorrow I am going to hear a presentation from yet another organization that has sprung up to create a "Shop Local" program. The mission of this group is to help locally owned businesses survive in the community which would create economic strength in the community and bring back the local community character.
“Shop Local” fliers are getting posted in storefronts all across this country from Maine to California, as an effort to help small community businesses increase their business especially in this economic downturn. Even online shopping sites like “Etsy” are touting the “Shop Local” mantra as a way to encourage support of local artisans. There is no doubt that by supporting local businesses customers add tax revenues to their community which helps fund local services such as fire and police departments. Shopping locally is good for the environment too by reducing gas consumption for errands and shopping.
While these groups and local shop owners are putting out a plea for the community to support them, where is the mention that these businesses give back to the community? What better way for the community to get to know and care about you and your business than through your support of local community causes through donations and volunteering? Not only that, there are many ways to use cause marketing and incentive programs that attract customers and involve them in supporting your cause.
Hey-I like my little town. I always shop in my local hardware store before I would bother to drive 20 minutes to Home Depot, even if I did save 20 cents on a screwdriver. I also know that the owner is involved in the community and gives back to it, a lot.
Want the community to support your business? Just try giving some support to your community. Create a feedback loop that helps builds both.