November will officially be designated Shop Small Month with Saturday, November 24th being Winter Garden's Shop Small Saturday with an all-day celebration in Downtown Winter Garden.
Shop Local Winter Garden is an awareness program to build support for local businesses through education, marketing, and promotion. The most important action we can take to improve our local economy is to support our local businesses.
During the holidays, remember to shop locally. The month of December is a busy shopping month and shoppers tend to become stressed trying to manage the shopping with all the other things going on. Remember your local businesses during the month of December and feel good about the season.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. By supporting our local businesses, more of the money you spend is recycled within the local economy benefiting every facet of the community.
For every dollar spent locally, 45cents stays right here according to Civic Economics, an Austin-based firm.
Top 10 Reasons to Shop Local
1. Local Character and Prosperity
In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.
2. Community Well-Being
Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.
3. Local Decision-Making
Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
4. Keeping Dollars in the Local Economy
Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.
5. Job and Wages
Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.
Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.
7. Public Benefits and Costs
Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
8. Environmental Sustainability
Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which, in turn, are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.
A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
10. Product Diversity
A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
The following comes from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (www.ilsr.org), a national nonprofit organization working to strengthen independent businesses and local economies, and is reprinted here with permission.