Locally Owned—Supporting our Local Economy
By Gretchen Hein
As the season to give approaches, we have the opportunity to give not only to those we love, but to also give to our community. Tallahassee’s network for locally owned businesses is an active and strong coalition and shopping locally is one way we can give back to our community, one way to support our friends and neighbors.
Mayor John Marks, in collaboration with local business owners, initiated Local Business Saturday this past January. Locally owned businesses are encouraged to participate by offering special sales on the second Saturday of each month. Citizens are encouraged to purchase at least one item or service on these special Saturdays. There are only one remaining Saturday in this year, December 10 so mark your calendar. One compelling statistic I came across credits locally owned businesses for creating between 60–80% of all new jobs I our community this past decade.
Wondering what your options are? You’ll be impressed with the variety you find at www.locallyownedtallahassee.com. Another site, www.localbusinesssaturday.com, will give you even more ideas. Over 100 locally owned shops and businesses have joined hands to support the local economy through Locally Owned Tallahassee! Within New Leaf’s own Parkway District are a number of different shops and businesses. I hesitate to start mentioning them because I’m sure I’ll leave out someone important. A visit to the Local Business Saturday website features New Leaf Market in the video on the home page!
Of course, you don’t have to wait until a Second Saturday rolls around, you can frequent locally owned businesses any time. Several years ago when I made the commitment to eat locally grown foods as often as possible, I also made the commitment to shop locally. I’ve added to that this year in an effort to support local artists and craftspeople by buying locally handmade products whenever possible. In a time when the economic and political system can loom large and leave one feeling powerless, supporting locally owned entrepreneurs is one way to contradict the hopeless, helpless feeling. I hope you’ll join me, and many of your fellow neighbors, by spending your holiday dollars locally, and then make it a new habit. And remember, New Leaf Market, locally owned and operated can be one of your stops.