Inspiring LaBelle To Shop Local

Many times, we choose to go to the larger out of town businesses for our shopping or service needs. Surprisingly, most of these needs can be met right here in Hendry County. Sure, some things may be a little less expensive by dealing with larger businesses, but in the long run the benefits of shopping within our hometown might actually outweigh those initial small savings.

So, why shop locally? First, when you shop at locally owned, independent businesses more money is kept in the community. These businesses often purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Buying locally helps grow other businesses as well. There is also added value in knowing that unique businesses are an essential part of Hendry County’s charm, character, and tourism industry. They provide products and services that often differ from the big box stores, and give the community its distinctive personal character.

Local businesses generally require comparatively little infrastructure investments. They also add more to our tax base, and make more efficient use of public services. Non-Profit organizations often receive greater support and money (up to 250% more) from local business than they do from non-locally owned businesses.

The environmental impact on the community is also reduced. These businesses tend to make more local purchases, which lead to less transportation needs. By keeping businesses in the heart of the town, growth is less likely sprawl to the outskirts of the area, thereby reducing habitat loss, depletion of resources and pollution.

Generally, most local businesses are owned by people who live within the community. These business owners and many of their employees are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future. This creates customer service that is generally better, because local businesses tend to invest in employees and hire those with more specific product expertise. When positive community ties are formed, customers tend to want to repeat their shopping experiences.

Another way to support local businesses is to consider joining the local Chamber of Commerce. Aside from shopping and doing business locally, citizens can also play their part in helping the local community by staying informed. These organizations host networking events, fundraisers, workshops, and other activities, all with the aim of connecting local business owners to each other as well as the community.

House Speaker Paul Ryan stated, “Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere.” So get to know the story behind your local businesses. They are the quiet, kind and generous backbone of our great little community. Think local first, and shop local when you can.

Amanda can be reached at

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