The state of the economy has hit Richmond in several ways. Not only have many lost their jobs but so many small businesses have gone out of business. I have personally been on a mission to try to give my business to small businesses verses corporate ones in Short Pump. With most corporate businesses, we […]
The state of the economy has hit Richmond in several ways. Not only have many lost their jobs but so many small businesses have gone out of business. I have personally been on a mission to try to give my business to small businesses verses corporate ones in Short Pump.
With most corporate businesses, we do get the benefit of jobs but most of the revenue leaves our local community. By spending your valuable money with local business owners, whether it be a mom and pop, a larger locally owned business (like Ukrop’s) or even a national franchise owned by a local franchise owner, your money has a much higher likelihood of remaining within our community.
So, in theory, I am all for buying local. However, from a practical perspective, I often feel the following conflicts. What if the corporate business serves your needs better or just makes you feel more comfortable?
For example, I like the desserts at Whole Foods Market better than the ones at Ukrop’s. Or, when I needed to buy a tennis outfit, I stayed away from a certain local small business because I did not want the pressure to buy something right away. I prefer the non-pressure environment and anonymity of Dick’s Sporting Goods or using the Internet.
And then when it comes to locally owned restaurants in Short Pump, my husband and I are at a loss of where to eat because of the recent trend of of them going out of business. One of the main goals of restaurants is to offer a consistent experience for their customers. But when local restaurants cannot afford the lease payments long enough to build this presence, the corporate establishments win by default. Their business model is based on providing a consistent and reliable experience time over time.
Despite these challenges, I do have a sincere interest in helping our local retailers and restaurants get more of our business. I think the true answer is for consumers to try a little harder to buy local and for the small businesses to do a little more to address some of the reasons why people choose to go to the corporate outfits. One example is trying to communicate more with customers, whether it be through email lists, the Internet or just sending out a customer loyalty discount every now and then.