Twelve Days of Shopping Fairview – but wait, what about those five golden benefits?

In 12 days, there was a lot of ground covered in Forward Fairview Park’s holiday shopping excursion along Lorain Road. Gift giving is at its best when it is local, thoughtful and includes building your own ‘community’ of family, friends and neighbors. The shop local tour highlighted about 20 local businesses to help residents and neighbors do just that.

That is just the tip of the iceberg, as they say. There are more than 360 businesses who call Fairview Park home! Restaurants, grocers, salons, barber shops, gyms, convenience stores, and auto repairers are the obvious ones that are used most often, but we also have landscapers, lawyers, dentists, doctors, chiropractors, architects, designers, photographers, upholsterers, insurers, contractors, accountants, electricians, home repairers, plumbers…the list goes on. IGNITE will be bringing you more information on the composition of Fairview’s total business community in 2017 and how you can support it.

In the meantime, there are lots of benefits to the community in supporting local businesses that last long into the New Year. Possibly the “5 golden benefits” of shopping local are how the dollars you spend in Fairview Park benefit Fairview Park:

  1. Stronger economy: Local businesses hire local workers. They may also hire local architects and contractors for building and remodeling, local accountants and insurance brokers to help them run the business, and local ad agencies to promote it. They are more likely to carry locally produced goods.
  2. Close-knit community: Shopping at local businesses gives neighbors a chance to connect with each other. It’s easier to get to know someone you see often at a local coffeehouse than someone you only wave to on your way in and out of your house.
  3. Cleaner Environment: Having stores in your immediate neighborhood means the car is parked more often, and sometimes doing errands on foot or on a bicycle. Fewer cars on the road mean less traffic, less noise, and less pollution. Just one trip each week on foot instead of a 10-mile round trip by car will reduce your annual driving by 520 miles. This would save more than 24 gallons of gas and keep 0.2 metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere, according to calculations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
  4. Healthier Residents: Running errands on foot is an opportunity for easy exercise, which helps with weight control and heart health. Studies have found that U.S. counties with thriving local businesses have lower mortality rates, slimmer residents, and a lower incidence of diabetes.
  5. A Great Place to Grow: Our town’s motto is more difficult to measure than the others, but it’s just as important: Local businesses simply make your town a better, more interesting place to live and grow. One suburban housing development looks much like another, but a town center with thriving local businesses has a feel that’s all its own. Local eateries, bars, bookstores, food markets, pharmacies, and gift shops all combine to give a place its unique character.

Together, these factors create a “multiplier effect,” meaning that each dollar spent in a local store can bring as much as $3.50 into the local economy. The more local businesses prosper, the more new ones will open – making it even easier to continue shopping locally in the future. So next time you find yourself headed out of town to run your errands, think about which of them you might be able to do right here!

Ref: Moneycrashers, article by Amy Livingston 2016