As a small-businessperson in town, and also a local resident, I’d like to provide a few reasons we should try to shop locally when we can.
Many people who open and run a small business do so because they have a passion for what it is they’re doing. Whether it’s sports, clothes, pets, hair, antiques, art, cooking, or whatever. This passion translates directly to quality of customer service.
If you go into any store and the owner is passionate about their products, or services, then they are very likely going to be enthusiastic about your interest in their products and services as well.
The entrepreneurial aspect of that passion translates into the enormous hurdle that business owners go through to open and operate their business enterprises.
Local business means local employment. While most small businesses don’t pay particularly high wages, they do offer work experience for first time workers, as well as opportunities for those looking to earn extra income. My business has been blessed to have hired many young people who have learned valuable work lessons in inventory management, stocking and receiving, marketing and merchandising, tendering transactions and customer service. Some past employees have moved on to college and/or their eventual careers. It is my hope that 5, 10, 15 years from now, they will be working in their careers and will do something that will cause them to think; “Hey, I learned that at Play It Again Sports!”
Small businesses generate a certain amount of sales-tax revenue that goes directly back into the community in which they operate their business. Therefore, some of the money that you spend in town, comes back into town in the form of revenue to the city/county coffers.
Most small businesses in town have owners that live locally as well. Their kids attend the local schools, and participate in many of the sports, art and recreational programs that are part of our schools and park systems. Most local businesses actively contribute to various athletic, social and recreational programs in town, as more and more of these programs are getting their state funding cut. It is not uncommon for a small business to donate money, or product to a raffle, a booster club, sponsorships, faires, causes, churches, the Taste of Los Al, or in some cases all of the above.
Pay It Forward
As a resident and small businessperson, a lot of my income goes directly back into the community as well, because my family and I shop at the stores and restaurants right here in town. Whether it’s; Nick’s, or Paul’s Place, Beachwood BBQ, El Burrito, O’Malley’s, Walt’s Wharf, Koi Sushi, Coach’s Sports Grill, Harbour Surfboards, Swiss Dot, Endless Summer, Denim Bar, or LaunderPet, etc. It is comforting to have many of these small business owners shop my business as well.
Owning and operating a small business is difficult, particularly in these tough economic times. You have a choice of where to shop. When you can, shop local.
Earick Ward owns Play It Again Sports in Los Alamitos and is a Seal Beach resident.