Go Local La Mesa!

LA MESA -- We have all heard, or I hope you've heard, of small business Saturday. This year, 2014, marks the fourth year of the event which is hosted and promoted by American Express. It is the day after “Black Friday”, November 29th, when all good shoppers head out and buy locally. But still, year after year, the shopping malls are packed with people buying from the big box retailers and large corporate stores. The purpose of this discussion is not to point fingers or reprimand local residents who live in small towns and suburbs all around the county, but to perhaps educate the buying public on why it is so important to support its local shops and businesses.


I love this statistic, For every $100 spent at a local small business, $73 stays in the local community. When shoppers purchase the same amount at a big box store only $23 stays locally. That’s every day folks and that is huge!

What is Local Economic Stimulus. When you purchase at locally owned businesses rather than nationally owned, more money is kept in the community because locally-owned businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base. Also, non-profits receive greater support and donations are larger to local charities than from non-local owners. Further, shopping local generates a unique business character and generates prosperity. The unique character of a local community is defined in large part by the business that reside there, and that plays a big factor in everyone’s overall satisfaction with where they live and the value of homes and properties. I can’t express how important this is to cities like La Mesa.

To those who live in town, La Mesa Village is a very unique area. There are very few shopping districts left in the San Diego area like The Village and its uniqueness is unparalleled. There is no other place like this and that is specifically why I decided to open my shop “What A Dish!” here.  With that, The Village is directly effected and its success as a shopping district is dependent on residents shopping locally.  For the area to develop into a destination shopping district and achieve its full potential the shopping public needs to shop here!  The entire system is cyclical and fuels itself.  For example, as more people shop The Village, word of mouth will lead to more viable retail and services moving into the area which will generate more word of mouth advertising for the area which will add to its viability as a shopping destination thus adding more retail/services…you get the picture.  I am often amazed when I am asked by customers "How long have you been here?" and  they are often surprised when I say "One year!"  They say "Wow, I never come down to the village" and I reply "WHY!"

In conclusion, local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, who are less likely to leave and are more invested in the community's welfare and future. Small business is the backbone of the community! They are more interesting and willing to listen to suggestions from customers. Local businesses keep the local economy stable while giving a personal touch and great service-which is dying away in our retail world (thank you WalMart.) Small businesses encourage variety, individuality and friendliness in town.

To quote Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local: “Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainable, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs Go Local La Mesa!!!!!

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Tags: La Mesa Today, La Mesa business, La Mesa newspaper, What A Dish!


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Comment by chris shea on May 23, 2014 at 8:28am
Very nicely done article. I'm always thrilled when people wander into my store and wonder how long I've been there. It will be two years in November, my second Shop Small experience.
It's a really fun day because so many kind people get how much we local business owners have to offer them that larger chain stores just can't match.
Thanks for this post, Frank!

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