We are excited to have #idealdatenight prizes from Croll’s Pizza in Alameda, High Spirits Event Planning in El Cerrito, Six Doors and Balboa Green Garden in San Francisco. Although these businesses are not located in the Lake Merritt neighborhood, the owners generously donated prizes to our contest because they understand the importance of supporting each other to help spread the message of shifting local.
Shifting local is crucial because independent, locally owned businesses make a tremendous impact in our community. Here are a few examples:
1. Independent, locally owned businesses sustain our local economy.
How? After the sale is made, independent, locally-owned businesses return almost 45% of earnings right back into the community where you live versus 13% when you shop big box or chain stores. Plus, independent, locally-owned businesses create local jobs and pay local taxes. They are also more likely to support other local businesses. For example, Croll’s Pizza sources its ingredients locally and serves beer from local microbreweries.
2. Independent, locally owned businesses are more likely to provide community service.
Local businesses on average support non-profits at a higher rate than big businesses. They are more likely to give back to the community and encourage entrepreneurial growth. One example of this is how High Spirits Event Planning owner Lisa is an active board member of Oakland Grown, a non-profit that is dedicated to support the growth and development of independent locally-owned businesses and artists.
3. Independent, locally owned businesses are more likely to cater to a community’s needs.
They find a need and fill it. Unlike national chains that bases product choice on a national sales plan, a local business provides consumers a more interesting selection and satisfies the unique needs of the neighborhood.
Balboa Green Garden is a perfect example of this. When I talked to Richard about his family’s flower shop, he told me that his father, a former engineer, carefully listens to the requests of customers that comes to the shop. They get a lot of wedding flower arrangement requests with elaborate designs. With his engineering background, he is able to create a beautiful and sustainable design.
Q & A SESSION WITH BALBOA GREEN GARDEN
Answers provided by Richard Kim.