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KEEP IT LOCAL: Supporting Small Businesses Through the “Summer Slump”

KEEP IT LOCAL: Supporting Small Businesses Through the “Summer Slump”

By Beth Deyo

As the snowbirds head back up north and locals start planning their own summer getaways, our area settles into a more relaxed pace. Fewer cars on the road and smaller crowds at local hotspots bring much-needed relief – but for small business owners, the summer months often mean something else entirely.

This is the time when local establishments face what’s known as the “summer slump” – a decrease in foot traffic that often leads to a significant dip in revenues. The struggle is real, but the good news is, we have the power to make a real difference. By consciously choosing to shop, dine, and play locally this
summer, you can help your favorite spots thrive through the slow season.

Supporting Local Has a Powerful Economic Impact

When you spend your hard-earned dollars at a local business, you’re doing more than just supporting a shop or restaurant – you’re investing in your community. Studies have shown that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays within the local economy.

Dollars spent at small, local businesses also recirculate within the local economy an average of six to 15 times, meaning that your purchase at one local business can lead to increased spending at other local establishments. This “multiplier effect” helps to create jobs, support local families, and keep our neighborhoods thriving.

Local Businesses Give Back

Small to mid-sized local businesses are the backbone of our community. They’re the companies sponsoring Little League teams, donating to school fundraisers, and contributing to local food banks. In fact, small businesses donate 250 percent more to local non-profits and community causes than businesses with 500 or more employees. By making a point to support small, you help ensure these
businesses have the funds they need to continue making the Bradenton/Sarasota area a better place to live and work.

Small Businesses Bring Unique Character to Our Community

Local businesses often offer unique, specialty products that aren’t available in chain stores. From artisanal crafts to handcrafted meals, the family-owned shops and restaurants in our community bring a one-of-a-kind charm and flavor to their neighborhoods. Supporting family-owned businesses helps to preserve the special qualities that make our area unlike any other.

Supporting Local Means Supporting Your Neighbors

When you shop at a local business, you’re not just supporting a storefront – you’re supporting your neighbors. The people behind our local establishments are deeply invested in our community because it’s their home too. They’re the familiar faces that greet you when you walk through their doors, offering a level of personal service and care that you just won’t find at big box stores.

Less Traffic + Fewer Crowds = More Fun

Summer is the perfect time to explore all that our local area has to offer, without the hassle of crowds or long waits. Take advantage of this quieter season to finally check out that new restaurant you’ve been eyeing or visit a popular attraction you’ve been
meaning to see. Many local businesses offer special summer deals and promotions during the slower months, making this an ideal time to try something new.

Looking for a break from reality? Consider creating your own getaway right here at home. Book a stay at a local hotel, bed and breakfast, or Airbnb and experience our area through the eyes of a tourist. Enjoy lounging by the pool, dining at nearby restaurants, and exploring local sights and activities.

You might be surprised at how rejuvenating a short “staycation” can be. Even better, you’ll be supporting local businesses while also avoiding the stress and cost of long-distance travel. This summer, embrace the laid-back pace and rediscover all the hidden gems our community has to offer.

How to Support Local This Summer

  • Dine local: Make a point to visit local restaurants, cafes, and food trucks.
  • Shop at local boutiques and gift shops for unique finds and personalized service.
  • Create mini adventures: Visit local attractions, beaches, and parks for a fun day trip.
  • Take a class or workshop offered by a local business, such as cooking, painting,
    or yoga.
  • Use local service providers for home maintenance, repairs, and personal care.
  • Buy gift cards from local businesses to use later or give as gifts.
  • Leave positive reviews online for your favorite local spots to help boost their visibility.
  • Participate in local fundraisers or charity events sponsored by small businesses.
  • Spread the word: Share your favorite local businesses with friends and family and encourage them to support these establishments too.
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