With this series, I wanted to share all the possibilities of living local in Bloomington, from breakfast with parents, an afternoon with the kids, or night on the town. However I realize I have never discussed why I value living local. As a community, Bloomington values small local business. We pride ourselves on local ingenuity and entrepreneurship. Our community created organizations like Local First Bloomington and Downtown Bloomington Inc. to secure the presence and survival of small local business. This community taught me to appreciate small businesses and value the one-of-a-kind offerings they bring. Beyond the data-driven reasons to promote local business, I wanted to share my own thoughts. This is my ode to living local.
Reason 1: I support a community I care about through buying local.
Local business owners are people I know. I love supporting my friends, my network, and my community. Walk into any local business and you may find the owner is the one helping you. It’s easy to get to know from whom you are purchasing. It’s an experience you have only in local businesses. More money ends up staying in the local economy and supports local needs.
Reason 2: I support innovation and entrepreneurship to improve the community.
Local businesses owners create businesses around the needs of the community. I spoke with Talia, Gather owner, about her motivation for opening the store just recently. “Bloomington didn’t have a space for the quirky, eclectic style of the artists we carry. I managed a quarterly pop-up at the time. I received emails from people were always disappointed they missed the pop-up. I finally got tired of packing and unpacking so I chose to have a permanent space.” And thankfully she did or we may not have our endearing eclectic shoppe.
Reason 3: I love one-of-a-kind experiences and products.
I like knowing that when I walk into a local business, it’s unique. There may be no where else in the world to have the same experience or get the same item. Even when local businesses grow and expand, I sense that a piece of Bloomington is ingrained in the essence of the experience.
So when you have the choice, choose local 🙂