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Keeping It Local

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland
You’ve heard me speak of the benefits of shopping and supporting our small locally owned businesses many times over the years. But sometimes we just need a reminder. Shopping local offers several benefits for you and the community as a whole. Here are some key advantages of doing so:
Strengthening the local economy: When you shop at local businesses, a larger portion of your money stays within the community. Local businesses are more likely to source their products and services from other local vendors, which creates a cycle of economic support and growth. This, in turn, helps to create job opportunities, increase wages, and improve the overall economic vitality of the area.
Unique and diverse products: Local businesses often offer a unique selection of products that you may not find in chain stores. They may specialize in locally made or artisanal items. Supporting local businesses encourages product diversity and helps preserve the cultural and creative identity of a community.
Personalized customer service: Local businesses tend to prioritize personalized customer service. Business owners and staff often have a deeper knowledge of their products and can offer tailored recommendations and assistance. By shopping locally, you can enjoy a more personalized shopping experience and build relationships with the people behind the businesses.
Environmental benefits: Local businesses typically have shorter supply chains compared to larger corporations. Therefore, products sourced and sold locally require less transportation, leading to reduced carbon emissions and environmental impact. Also, local businesses may be more likely to support sustainable practices and engage in environmentally friendly initiatives.
Community support and engagement: Local businesses play an integral role in fostering a sense of community. They are often involved in local events, sponsorships, and charities, contributing to the overall well-being of the area. When you shop local, you directly support these community-building efforts and help maintain the character and vibrancy of your neighborhood.
Job creation and retention: Small and local businesses are major contributors to job creation in communities. By choosing to shop local, you support the livelihoods of your neighbors and friends. This, in turn, leads to increased employment opportunities and a stronger local workforce.
Reduced reliance on large corporations: Supporting local businesses helps to create a more balanced and diverse marketplace. It reduces reliance on large corporations and promotes healthy competition, which is beneficial for consumers. By shopping local, you contribute to a thriving local business ecosystem and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.
Remember, supporting local businesses doesn’t mean completely avoiding larger retailers or online shopping. It’s about finding a balance and consciously choosing local options whenever possible to experience these benefits and contribute to the overall well-being of your community
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July is the month of our next group of quarterly team meetings. All teams—Organization, Design, Promotions and Economic Vitality teams—will meet on Thursday, July 20, at noon at the VDID office and via Zoom. You can join us in person at the Main Street Vineland office, 603 E. Landis Avenue, or virtually on Zoom (just let us know in advance so we can send you the link).

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