Shopping Local: Doing Well By Doing Good

Written by Michele Molotsky, Logan Circle Main Street Program Manager

During this past year, many people supported locally owned businesses through buying gift cards, eating in streeteries and getting take-out.  With neighborhood support, Logan Circle lost fewer businesses than other neighborhoods.  Our vacancy rate is less than 5% and we still have a healthy proportion of locally owned to national chains at a ratio 70% to 30%.

Our success as a neighborhood depends on our continued support of locally owned businesses.  Here are some of the benefits of shopping locally (liberally borrowed from my friends at the Institute for Local Self Reliance):

  • Expertise:  When you’re looking for the perfect running shoe, you can speak with a knowledgeable person at Pacers Running rather than read a paid-for online review.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into Logan Hardware needing a “thingy” and gotten good advice.  You can’t get that online. You are much more likely to find a quirky and meaningful gift for your sister-in-law at The Outrage or Miss Pixie’s.  Studies actually show you’re 3x more likely to discover something new at a local business.
  • Community:  When you walk from store to store, you make connections such as bumping into friends or chatting with a salesperson or other customer.    Places with more local businesses are communities where people have stronger social ties and are more likely to participate more in civic aff­airs.
  • Stronger Local Economy:  Local retailers hire local people, pay local taxes, source goods locally and donate more to local charities.  For example, buying a coffee at Slipstream creates more local wealth because they hire local accountants and marketing people.  More money stays here than say….  Seattle.  And who gives more to N Street Village?  Diane Gross from Cork Wine Bar & Market or Howard Schultz?  

Shopping online is definitely convenient, especially when you need to mail packages.  And, I admit, I like the convenience of shopping at Amazon Fresh especially when I’m making chocolate chip cookies and suddenly realize I don’t have enough brown sugar. Convenience and supply chain issues aside, I know the most treasured gifts I give are those that are made and sold locally.  Please shop and dine at Logan Circle’s businesses.  If you need a little inspiration, check out the Logan Circle Main Street Holiday Gift Guide

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