How many times a day do we hear or read “shop local, support local, keep your $$ local….”? We always see many different variations of this every month but since COVID 19 we are blasted with it. What I really want to know is who really listens and understands the importance of those words.
I have to be honest, before I owned my own business I didn’t give much thought to the importance of supporting my local businesses. I did support a lot of local businesses but not with intended purpose. When I bought Vivacious I had two goals. To create a business and marketing plan that best reflected me and to get closer to my community. As I was getting closer to my community that is when I started to understand fully what supporting your local businesses truly mean.
I know you have heard it on many social media posts but they are not just words. We are the businesses that give what we can to our local hospital, pretty much anyone that comes to my door asking for a donation for a silent auction or door prize for a community program gets a donation, we collect for our local shelters, we hold multiple fundraising events a year, we donate our time to local community groups and much more.
When you are driving through town really think what it would mean if 20%, 30%, 50% of us were not here. If you are not close to it please please believe me that our town would look a hell of a lot different not just with empty storefronts but many organizations would be struggling without the support they get from us.
Here is what my business does for me personally. I was 52 when I left the corporate world to do this. My girls were 13 and 17 at the time. What they saw and have taken into their adult life is a women that can work hard and build something that has positively affected the community. This is so much more than selling clothes. They have seen how this business has grown into a place where women feel great about themselves. So what has that transpired into, both of them excited about going to college to figure out their own path. Shannon who is now 24 graduated 3 years ago and is running her own small spa business. Emily is finishing her last year of college and has a clear path in mind for what she wants to do.
I started my own business to create something that put a smile on my face, made me proud of working hard and excited about going to work every day. I believed if I accomplished this then my goals would be met. From the time the girls were little and would talk about what they wanted to do in life commonly they would ask “if I do that how much money would I make”. My answer was always the same. Do not worry about what any profession will pay you. Find the thing you are passionate about and it will lead you to a life that is fulfilling. I do believe that you can turn your passion into a lucrative career.
EVERY SMALL BUSINESS HAS THEIR OWN STORY OF HOW THEY HAVE BEEN IMPACTED PERSONALLY BY WHAT THEY DO AS WELL AS THE MANY SUPPORTS THEY HAVE GIVEN TO THEIR COMMUNITY.
I am going to talk about Quinte West specifically. We have a unique community here. Businesses get along with each other, we help each other out, we collaborate. I see it from the inside the amazing impact this has on our town. It is a struggle for most businesses right now. Not a little struggle, a BIG STRUGGLE. Businesses are bending over backwards to get their goods to you safely. Why would you order online if you can get your goods or service from a local merchant who really cares about the community you live in?