The Old Arcana is a local business.
We’re passionate about not only serving you great food every day, but finding ways to support other local businesses through the enterprise of our own. We know how important local commerce is to the success of our communities (and to our nation for that matter), and we want others to know and understand that importance as well. So we’ll preach it. And write about it. And share it. And try to get you to do the same. Because knowing it’s important and actually making the choice daily are two completely different things. It’s easy to forget, so we’re here to proudly be your reminder.
Some folks get it. They know they should make the choice to shop locally. They know the benefits making the local choice would bring to their lives and to their community, but in the rush of their day to day, they either forget or make the most convenient choice in the moment. The thing is, one moment means one sale. If only 5 people a day in a community of our size gives their business to a chain store over their local provider, it could mean the difference between a the success or failure of that local business. 5 sales a day at an average of $12 per sale could cost a local business between $18,000 and $21,000 per year. That’s money that could create a new job in their community. It’s money that could pay local taxes that support our first responders and police protection. It’s the difference between the possibility of business growth (that can provide even more support to the community) or stagnation and struggle.
There are other people that simply don’t understand why they should bother buying locally. They think the big stores offer more for them, and at better prices. And sometimes they do. But those big chains don’t give anything past that bargain. They don’t give back. Their quality often sucks (to be frank) and you can guarantee that past that sales transaction, they most certainly wouldn’t help their neighbors in a pinch. They’re about profitability over community. Regulations over relationships. Shares over service.
Local business are about something else entirely. There are plenty of web sites out there that share the facts and figures about shopping locally, but very few who share the down and dirty reasons why local businesses simply deserve all of the support we can give them. So we’re gonna.
THIS, dear friends, is LOCAL:
Most of the time local business start as nothing more than an idea that lives burning in the belly of your neighbor. A little spark ignites deep down inside and it won’t let go. It smolders inside of them as nothing more than a possibility. One that would make their community, (your community), a better place to live, work, shop, eat or play.
Sometimes this spark has to sit for years as a local entrepreneur saves their pennies to make their idea a reality because most small, local business have very little access to large amounts of startup capital. The piles of cash chains have to work with? It’s simply not there. Most local businesses are created through sheer will, good timing and a whole lot of elbow grease.
If an opportunity for funding or a prime location presents itself, every local business owner takes a giant leap of faith. They strap on their wings, say a prayer, and hope the safety net appears when and if it is needed. Those people behind the counters of your local businesses… they are BRAVE. They are the ones who follow their dreams.
Most are perfectly willing to put in endless hours to make sure their business has a chance at success. They sacrifice time with loved ones and personal reward to watch their idea grow and reach out into their communities. They lose sleep over slow sales days and are eternally grateful for days that are busy and profitable. They seem frazzled and out-of-body about half of the time because their brains are constantly churning out 1001 new ideas that may or may not make their business successful.
They create jobs that help others pay their bills. Because they’re small, most places have a tightly knit crew. They love and genuinely care for their employees. That fact makes them work extra hard to make sure the business is successful because NO one wants to see someone they care about lose their job due to slow sales.
They choose their neighbors whenever they can for supplies, ingredients, items to sell and professional services. They create products their communities need, provide services that are missing, and give back to the people of their communities through donations of time and charitable giving. Small, local business want to succeed not only for their own profit, but because it matters to those around them as well.
Local businesses bring a unique personality and character to their communities that attract folks from surrounding areas as well. When people make the drive from neighboring towns to patronize one of our local businesses, they are inclined to spend their dollars at 2 other local business during their visit. So the success of the business next door can help other businesses thrive.
The more you support your local businesses, the more they can continue to offer you and your community as a whole. The more they grow, the more they can offer you personally and the vitality of your community.
So when you head out to make a daily purchase, grab a gift or enjoy a meal, stop for just a second before heading out to the large corporate chain restaurant or big box store and consider all of your local options. The hard earned dollars you spend every day casts a vote for the survival or the demise of Small Business as a general concept. Without our consistent support, those ideas that are born within your communities will have no chance to take root. Make the choice to support LOCAL dreams. Support LOCAL jobs. Support LOCAL economic vitality.
Support LOCAL businesses whenever you can. It’s important to us all.
For even more reasons to support small, local businesses, read this article by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle on Forbes.com: