editor’s note: although this article is based on the keep it local Oklahoma effort, almost every city in the country has a version of this. It is very important to any community that the locally owned businesses survive and flourish – it keeps the local history, culture and local flavors of a community thriving.
As a small business owner I know what the daily struggles are like to keep the doors open year after year. My salon, S Studio Salon & Day Spa, celebrated 7 years of business in August. It’s been quite an accomplishment for me, especially since I was only 20 years old when I became a business owner. I am even more amazed by this when I hear statistics on how many businesses fail or close within 1 year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 year marks. It is such a sad reality for each community, however, it’s no wonder. It’s very difficult for us little guys to compete with the convenience and price of the big ‘box’ stores that carry everything you need under one roof. What most people do not understand is how much spending their money in a locally owned business keeps the money in their community. Bryce Bandy and Chris Branson understood the need and decided to create a solution. They launched their business Keep It Local OK in February of 2010. My business became a member in April of 2010.
How does it work? A locally based business becomes a member, offers discounts to customers who purchase an annual $10 Keep It Local card, then voila! The funds stay within the community, and you save money buying local! Win-win.
From the mouths of the Keep It Local people:
span style=”font-size: small;”>“Whether you’re shopping for new clothes, grabbing a bite to eat or looking for a service provider around town, there’s just no getting around it – keepin’ it local has a greater economic impact on our city than shopping at a national chain store. In fact, studies have shown that our dollars spent at an independent, locally-owned business have about 3 times the impact on our community than dollars spent at a national chain store. Even shifting as little as 10% of our spending to locally-owned businesses could result in millions of dollars returning to our community and hundreds of new jobs! Seems too simple, right? Just consider this: Locally-owned businesses spend less of their money paying people in other states or even as far as other countries to run their operations, and instead, spend more money buying local goods and paying for services locally, which helps our local business owners keep more of their profits circulating within the local economy and makes them even more invested in the well-being of the community. Choosing to open our wallets and support our favorite local businesses creates a multiplying effect with our money and helps us to become an important part of building a more unique, self-reliant, and prosperous place to live!”
To learn more about the Keep It Local OK movement, visit their very new and improved website at www.keepitlocalok.com! Print out a list of participating businesses. You will be impressed! Also, see each discount and where to purchase the 2012 KIL card. We need to be more community driven and start connecting with our local businesses and their owners. We can unite and keep our economy stronger this way!
Live. Life. Beautifully.