Do you ever drive down the street and feel like all the shops look the same? The same corporate, perfectly-designed big box stores and chain restaurants?
But then, you see the handful of locally-owned independent businesses left in town, and they seem to inject the street with life?
“Mom & Pop” shops are experts at spreading their character across their town.
They give a community its flavor. Towns across America have similar chain restaurants, grocery, and department stores but that diner down the street, or local coffee shop or boutique is one-of-a-kind.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Beauty is subjective. To you, maybe seeing quirky stores along the main street of your town isn’t particularly appealing, or unappealing. Perhaps you never even stopped to think what the unique character local businesses bring to your town can mean.
I bet when you visit a new city, your instinct is to try something you’ve never had before. To look for that hole-in-the-wall, that one place that serves the local delicateses in ways that chain-stores cannot offer.
Local businesses are key to preserving local culture. Look at a place like New Orleans, for example. With its deep, rich cultural history, the city is full of local shops and restaurants that celebrate the different cultures that intersect in that one city.
This has had two effects:
- It has kept unique local traditions, like Jazz, creole food, etc. at the forefront of what people think of when they think of New Orleans.
- It has made it a tourist destination.
As you can see, then, local businesses in your town can lead to more tourism, as people become interested in what makes your city tick. This means more money coming into your city, thus strengthening your community and promoting its growth. And from the last blog we know that small businesses are key for the economic strength of a community.
It can also increase overall home values, and bring a much stronger sense of health to the community. The unique features of a city or town make it more attractive to prospective buyers and investors thus further strengthening the community.