We want to highlight the stories of people doing good in Kern County and in today’s Kern’s Kindness, we’re taking a look at a new campaign that recently made its way to Bakersfield to support our local businesses.
Bobby Johnson, Co-Founder of Keep Local Alive, says when you spend a dollar at a locally owned independent business in your community about 68 cents of that dollar stays in Bakersfield, or recirculates, whereas when you spend a dollar at a chain, about 14 cents stays in your community. That's why they're pushing to keep business at local small businesses.
Co-founders Dave Loveland and Bobby Johnson recently finished a tour of 68 cities around the country, including Sarasota, Jacksonville, Savannah, and Denver, where they helped start Keep Local Alive chapters.
That’s where Keep Local Alive comes in, a national movement started during the pandemic to keep money in local economies. The movement’s first city was Omaha, but its latest target is Little Rock, with the Natural State chapter launching just last week.
Cofounder Bobby Johnson says the effort asks locals to move $20 a week from big chain stores to local businesses, and focus on specific locations through “boost crews” organized through Facebook.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – From trucks to tacos, Melanie Aquino has seen it all. For seven years, the owner of Wicked Taco Factory ran a popular food truck just steps away from the Arkansas Capitol. But last year, the Little Rock Business owner decided to put it in park. “We decided that it was time to go into a restaurant,” Aquino said, and her team chose a location on 2nd street.
Keep Local Alive - Tucson has selected the Sonoran Company for its ‘Boost Crew’ this week, urging everyone to stop by and give it a try.
“Their breakfast burritos are amazing! The cheesy eggs with potatoes and whatever meat you want is just really, really good,” said Aaron Greenberg, a member of Keep Local Alive Tucson. “I made the conscious decision to truly move things to keep local alive.”
"In Tucson local businesses are the heart. We really want our local businesses to do well financially and to stay afloat. We don't want businesses going under," said Marla Handler, member of the Keep Local Alive "Boost Crew."
he Keep Local Alive-Tucson group started a new effort Wednesday to highlight those who need our help. Their first business in the spotlight is Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria on Broadway due to the construction mess they’ve had to deal with.
“I think it’s incredible that people out of the goodness of their heart make sure that local businesses are taken care of,” said Penny. “Support small, shop small. These guys are helping to make it happen.”
An Omaha group called ‘Keep Local Alive’ knew this was the position a lot of small business employees were in, so they started cooking up a plan to bring whatever relief they could to Stella’s.
“Send me, Venmo me, pay-pal me, whatever amount you want," said Bobby Johnson, creator of ‘Keep Local Alive’, "I’m going to give away all those funds, I’m going to find a locally owned independent restaurant and I’m going to give that entire group of donations to a lucky server,”.
Bobby Johnson knows what one day of shopping at local businesses can mean for their futures. Keep Local Alive is a community that Johnson and his partner David Loveland developed early on the pandemic to help small businesses.
Johnson and Loveland designed an algorithm that shows how much $20 a month toward a local shop or restaurant can impact each city depending on its population size. Keep Local Alive promotes the idea on Facebook using the hashtag #move20savelocal.
“We’ve already lost locally owned businesses, and we’re going to continue to lose them,” Johnson said. “It’s pretty scary what’s going on. We’re trying to figure out a way to get everyone’s attention.”