Why Support Community Businesses?
There should be a common understanding that business, any business, is good for the economy. The government proves this by offering businesses tax break. Flourishing communities have many businesses within them, which is indicative of their health. Impoverished communities are just the opposite. There are fewer businesses within an impoverished community and majority of those businesses that are there, are owned by people who do not live in the neighborhood. This only takes from the little income that the community has, leaving the community just as impoverished or even more impoverished, than it had prior to the introduction of those businesses.
This is a problem
Too many of our communities are dealing with this issue. Then, to add to the turmoil, most often, when people find themselves exceeding the poverty mark, they then leave the community to fail. You can change this right now. Do not continue to look at the neighborhood that your family grew up and with a sigh of desperation.
Be the solution
Community members must learn to create income streams with both their mind and their body. If you cannot physically move back to that community, simply support that community. If there are any last mom and pop shops still open, shop there. Since word of mouth is the best form of advertising, encourage your friends to shop there too. Host a cash mob, where groups of people come out to support the store on any given day. This will boost the community morale and get everyone involved.
Get with your neighbors or the neighbors in the impoverished neighborhood to establish a business. As stated before, most people who could afford to do so have likely left the neighborhood, which means there will be plenty of vacant houses and store fronts to consider. If a specific business idea cannot be established, consider opening a co-op/consignment shop. Products and crafts from all of the neighbors could be positioned in one store and everyone could chip in on days and times to work it.
If a brick and mortar establishment is too far – fetched, create a community market. This could be similar to a collective garage sale where the products and crafts from all of the neighbors are displayed. Hold the markets on a recurring date/day to help build a following. One of a kind products should hold much more value and any consumer should feel proud that they are helping their neighbor by making a purchase.
Allocate Your funds to community businesses
No matter how much your income is, you can allocate a certain number of funds, each month, to support community business. Preferably buy the things you need from them as oppose to the things you want. Even if the business does not support NEEDED items, purchase a wanted item and express the interest in purchasing needed items. Possibly the business can find opportunities to offer you more products.