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Shopping small is a big deal. Every time we savor a handcrafted coffee from a locally owned café, find a great outfit or accessory at a neighborhood boutique, enjoy strawberries in season from the growers market, or choose the perfect handmade card to send to a friend, we’re making a choice that has a large and lasting impact for us as consumers, for the local economy and community, for our friends and neighbors who are local business owners and artisans, and even for the environment.
When visitors enjoy the small-town shopping experience that downtown West Chester has to offer, they’re also supporting local family-owned businesses. Our shop owners then recycle their local dollars, which helps expand the local economy. The impact is much higher than when money is spent with national corporations.
Of the many great reasons to shop local, perhaps the best is that it’s more fun. At local shops, we meet talented artisans and entrepreneurs. We can enjoy touching, seeing, trying on, and tasting a greater selection of unique, quality products. Local business owners are passionate about selecting products that are often locally produced, one-of-a-kind, and from for-good companies. And local shops provide the kind of exceptional customer service and expertise—and friendly smiles—that aren’t part of shopping at a national chain or online.
Shopping small has a ripple effect, too. When we support local businesses we become part of an ecosystem that helps the local economy to thrive. “When visitors enjoy the small-town shopping experience that downtown West Chester has to offer, they’re also supporting local family-owned businesses,” says Malcolm Johnstone, Executive Director of the West Chester Business Improvement District. “Our shop owners then recycle their local dollars which help expand the local economy. The impact is much higher than when money is spent with national corporations.” Small local businesses are the largest employers nationally, and an amazing 91% of local business owners contribute to their communities by volunteering and making donations to nonprofits. Small businesses also tend to support other small businesses. They bring innovation and create more prosperous, entrepreneurial, and connected communities. Supporting these local businesses helps preserve West Chester’s historic and vibrant character and pride of place. Without them, towns fade into homogeneity.
Shopping locally is also an eco-friendly choice. West Chester’s walkability not only contributes to a better quality of life but also decreases the kind of pollution and habitat loss associated with the sprawl of out-of-town shopping complexes. Buying from small businesses, especially those that source local products, reduces the environmental impact of the processing, packaging, and transportation of goods. West Chester boasts a diverse array of 88 restaurants and entertainment venues and 72 retail shops. Each and every one of these small businesses is the fulfillment of a dream and provides a living for the owners, their employees, and their families. They depend on customer support that extends far beyond Small Business Saturday.
Shopping small is smart, relational, and a vote for community, diversity, and independence. Before we click online or drive to the mall, let’s give our local shops a chance to delight us.
The West Chester business improvement district (BID) celebrates small, family-owned businesses that have become the hallmark of downtown West Chester. Learn more about the resources that BID offers at DowntownWestChester.com.
Proudly sponsored by the West Chester Business Improvement District (BID).
There are over 88 restaurant and entertainment venues and 72 retail shops in downtown West Chester. Most West Chester businesses also offer options for buying online. The West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) celebrates small, family-owned businesses that have become the hallmark of downtown West Chester. Learn more about the resources that BID offers at DowntownWestChester.com.