Although travel has looked VERY different this year, we can all agree that we have come to truly appreciate the businesses surrounding us.  While the ‘stay at home order’ was in full effect, we all were shopping within a tight proximity!  Thankfully, we saw local food co-op’s stay open, farmers getting creative with online ordering, and CSA’s available for the community.  Local supporting local, is, and was a beautiful thing. 

As the ‘stay at home order’ lifted, we saw life come back into many businesses, ours included! We couldn’t be more thankful for all the support that came pouring in our doors.  We missed our busiest season with the Tulip Festival being canceled, but the summer months were as busy as ever!

Now, when you think of shopping locally (or supporting local businesses), you might also be thinking – “Target is only 3 miles away, is that local?”  And the answer is, NO!  When you think of shopping small, think independently owned businesses. Examples would be, gift shops, boutique or consignment clothing stores, hardware stores, salons/spas, restaurants, or toy stores. 

While progress has been made with what is now open within the pandemic, let’s take a closer look at WHY Supporting Local Business is Good for You and the Community: 

1. Local Character: do you remember that one clothing store that you would go to when you were a kid?  No, I’m not talking about TJ Max or Marshalls.  I’m talking about that one clothing store ‘downtown.’  No matter where you grew up, we all had one. You probably remember the distinct smell, the person who was always manning the store, etc.  The point is, it had a distinctive character.  Charm.  Something that made it unique!  In a world that is becoming ever-so homogenous, it is important for communities to preserve one-of-a-kind experiences for customers. These businesses also have an economic advantage! 

2. Entrepreneurship: America is fueled by entrepreneurs!  The people who’ve decided they are going to take innovation and prosperity to the next level.  This is also a huge economic means for the middle class!  By supporting local businesses, you are supporting the PEOPLE who’ve taken a leap of faith in forming a business they feel will benefit the community. 

3. Creates More Jobs: Small local businesses are the largest national employers! Since the 1970’s, more than 65% of new jobs have come from the rise in small business.  Within the pandemic, we have also seen so many small businesses shut down.  In order for us to CREATE more jobs, we NEED small businesses to stay afloat!! Supporting them by making local purchases or contributions is one way to help!

4. Reduces Environmental Impact: local communities help sustain vibrant, compact, walk-able towns.  This is essential in reducing transportation emissions, habitat loss, air and water pollution, and resource depletion. Because local businesses make more localized purchases, their transportation is also less.  By supporting them, you’re in turn helping contribute positively to these factors!  

5. Keep the Dollar NEAR: the taxes paid by small, local businesses widely contribute to support schools, parks, roads, and other local programs that benefit your friends and family.  Local stores enrich the community, they don’t take away from it!!

In all, we hope you’ve learned a thing or two of the importance of supporting LOCAL! We are all in this together, and when we come together to support our local business, it does wonders for you and the community!

If you’re ever in La Conner, WA – we do hope to see you at our family owned and operated restaurant!  Give us a call today to make a reservation: (360) 466-4014