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16 Dec 2016

Four reasons to shop local

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December 16, 2016 Category: Local Posted by:

From the Mayor’s Office, a Blog by Geoffrey Lareau

Shopping local is a way to invest in your own community — and help build a stronger city, block by block. Not only do these independent merchants provide jobs and economic growth, but they also reinvest in their communities, helping these neighborhoods flourish for years to come.

In fact, about 54 percent of Philadelphia’s private sector jobs are provided by these local businesses!

Here are four more big ways small businesses benefit our local communities.

1. Small businesses reinvest in the surrounding neighborhood.

Along with providing jobs and opportunity for local residents, small businesses pump over 50 percent more money into our communities than big retailers do. It’s estimated that for every $100 spent at an independent business, $68 goes right back into the local economy — compared to $43 from national chains. Keeping dollars local pays off for everybody!

2. Local shops donate more to local causes.

Independent businesses know their neighborhoods and ways they can help their neighbors. According to the Sustainable Business Network, local business owners give about 350% more contributions to local organizations than their national counterparts. Key contributors to local nonprofits and organizations, small business owners support community efforts to build stronger neighborhoods across the city.

3. Small businesses work together as a team to create energetic, unified neighborhoods.

In a city with dozens of neighborhoods, unity is vital to our continued progress — and Philadelphia’s local entrepreneurs know this! They engage the communities they serve in ways bigger businesses never could, like through special events that encourage people to get out and experience all aspects of their local economy. For example, commercial corridors often band together for special deals and events. This holiday season, there are a few such events happening across the city, including:

The Mt. Airy Holiday Hunt, which encourages people to visit multiple businesses in the Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood as part of a contest with prizes;

Old City District Historic Holiday Nights, which features extended hours, sales, and special menus at over 45 neighborhood establishments; and,

The Annual Fairmount Reindeer Romp, a festive bar crawl stopping at 12 different locations in Fairmount with proceeds benefiting several local charities!

4. Independent, local shops are convenient and encourage sustainability throughout Philadelphia.

Because local businesses tend to serve a local customer base rather than drawing people from far away, they increase walking, biking, and riding mass transit. This means less noise and air pollution citywide! Plus, the more people walk, bike, and ride transit, the more they begin thinking about holistic community initiatives benefiting all their neighbors.

If you shop locally, post it on social media about it using #ShopPHL! Showing your friends and neighbors why you support local business is a great way to advocate for them. Besides, we’re Philadelphia— let’s show our independent stores some brotherly love and sisterly affection!

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