As El Pasoans, we all know the local chain Chico’s Tacos, who just happened to celebrate their 65th anniversary this past week.
Chico’s is one of the best examples of supporting local small businesses.
The more people visit and purchase from local businesses, the better experience for the consumer because owners know their community and can provide better customer service experiences, and the more city residents increase the economy of their local community.
Sure, nationally recognized stores and chains may provide some savings because they purchase in bulk from manufacturers and can transfer a little of their savings on to the consumer, and chain restaurants may serve faster if you want to eat and run, but what is lost is the tailoring to the wants and needs of our community.
El Paso might the fourth largest city in Texas and the 22nd largest city in the United States according to elpasoinfo.com, but it certainly does have that small-town feeling.
One of the best experiences I have had with visiting local was at a small, locally-owned tea and tonic shop in Washington D.C.
The shop was owned and run by a fifth generation Jamaican herbalist. She oversaw what the shop sold and essentially decided everything she wanted in the store and for her customers.
My uncle, who is a regular, had a very cheery conversation with the owner that day and I observed that they had a connection on a personal level.
The owner was not seeking to make the purchase pricey, she was only interested in giving us the best experience possible.
That kind of person-to-person interaction was something I had never experienced at any Starbucks or other large chain coffee shops.
A big reason I prefer and recommend going to local businesses is that they care. These independent businesses are interested in being the best they can be and offer a different kind of care.
By shopping local, you help create jobs for teenagers or people who may have trouble finding work in other much larger chain stores that have many application requirements.
Not only does it help individuals by giving them jobs, it also helps the community’s economy because it keeps the money circulating in the area.
Having the money circulate through the community is called the multiplier effect. Lastly, business ownership is a way that many people, including women and minorities, reach financial success.
My grandmother is a great example of this. She is a registered nurse and for many years she worked for large nationally owned hospitals.
About 12 years ago she took a leap of faith and started her own small business to help support her family. Due to the fact that she understands and knows her community, she has been able to grow and survive even when the economy has not been at its best.
She has not only been able to take care of her family, but she has also been able to give back to the community in so many ways, including creating a small non-profit food pantry to help take care of elderly in our community.
Make a commitment. Shop at and visit locally owned businesses and feel good about contributing to our community.