by Sarah Little
Shop local? Support Your Local Small Business Day?
How about a ‘Local Small Businesses Support Their Local Community Day’?
It’s not that I’m anti-small business. I’m not. I whole-heartedly support small, local businesses. Heck, that is one of the reasons I love Ocean Beach. We are a community that strives to keep the bigger corporations at bay as much as possible, and that’s great! We lend our support (and our dollars) to what seems to be small, mom and pop stores and shops on Newport and we protest the presence of the offensive corporate giants such as Starbucks and Wings.
Last holiday season I made a point of walking the shops on Newport and taking a good look at the merchandise. Many of the stores had “buy local” signs and stressed the fact that money spent locally returns to the community via payroll, taxes, etc.
Now, I don’t doubt that at all. I know the people that work in the stores on Newport, I am glad they have jobs! I don’t deny the importance of shopping locally and trying to support our neighbors.
I am going to ask that the small business owners amongst us take it one step further.
Look at your inventory. What neighborhood are YOU supporting? Where are you shopping for your goods? How much of your inventory was bought “locally”? In the case of stocking a store, I’ll give you our whole country to call “local”. Do you stock anything that is made in the USA?. Is there a single thing in your store that was purchased on North America?
All I ask is that if you’re a small business owner and you want to post a sign that encourages me to “shop local” then please at least take a moment to think about where “local” starts and stops. You have a responsibility to take the next step.
In the interest of giving credit where I know it’s due:
- Jungle Java supports local artists and craftsmen. They also sell imported crafts and doo-dads, but there are many choices of locally made gifts that you won’t see in other shops.
- OBCentric is all about local crafts and products!
- Pinetree Road is a local shop and though she makes a lot of her stuff, I think she also buys from other small crafters.
I’m sure there are more. Does anyone else have a local shop to add to this list?