Summer of 2018: Shop local!
Our local small businesses are part of the 20 percent of this country’s small business revenue. The temperatures are rising and many schools are out for the summer.
During Arizona’s blistering heat, snowbirds migrate home for the summer and families take vacations, many escaping to their northern cabins or the cool San Diego beaches.
For our small businesses, this means the dog days of summer have arrived accompanied by a marked decrease in customers and sales. June, July and August are brutal to local businesses’ revenue stream.
Supporting our businesses during this summer downturn can make the difference between their surviving or closing.
As we should all know by now, many studies have shown that purchasing from a local independent business instead of a large national chain means that more of your dollars stay in your neighborhood.
Local Works suggests that for every $100 spent at a local business about $73 stays in the community. That amount drops to $43 if you buy from a national company. Local businesses need the help of the community to weather the summer downturn in their sales.
Without our small businesses, our vibrant community would have empty storefronts and rundown commercial centers.
Not only do vacant retail centers look bad, but vacancies also mean fewer taxes for our state and city to run public services. Empty shopping centers also negatively impact home property values. Most people do not like to purchase their home in a ghost town community.
These local businesses are also the businesses that are involved in supporting and funding local nonprofit organizations that impact the well-being of a community. Nonprofit organizations and local charities receive an average of 250 percent more support and donations from small local businesses than from large companies.
Local charities, schools and sports teams receive funding and volunteers from small local businesses. These small business owners and their families live in the community. Therefore, they invest in the community’s future both in time and money because they care about the vitality of their neighborhoods.
I am an example of a small business owner’s involvement in the community. I am the owner of a small business in Chandler, Von Hanson’s Meats & Spirits, an old-fashioned meat market showcasing quality meats and sausages.
I live in Ahwatukee and have been a longtime member of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce. My business and I donate time and products to local events such as Festival of Lights Red, and Taste of Kyrene. The store also provides local jobs and purchases local products.
Remember, where we eat, shop, and play makes our community home and becomes a part of the character of the community. After the 2008 recession, many people realized the power of a dollar spent locally.
When a community unites and spends locally, stores do not close and the community enjoys economic health and prosperity. Local buying power helped halt the 2008 recession and return economic growth.
You as a local shopper can simply spend your dollar where you live this summer and help your local businesses survive the dog days of summer.
-Ahwatukee attorney Martha Neese is a member of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber board and a past board chair.