Shop local. Share the love. Pass it on.
I was texting with a friend the other day, and, as conversations tend to do these days, the topics eventually turned to fears and “what ifs” and worst case scenarios. We were talking about the small businesses in our city, and how worried we are about their ability to weather the pandemic.
“Of course I don’t want to see ANY small business close,” I told my friend, “but there are a few local places in particular that would absolutely devastate me to lose.” The places that make my city feel like a community. The places that add life and color and joy and flavor to my everyday life. My places.
And then my friend said something so sweet and simple and profound it stopped me in my tracks:
“Tell me the three local businesses you care about the most,” she said, “and I promise to make a purchase at each one in the next week.”
This gesture meant so much to me, and I loved sharing my choices with my friend, including a little bit about why I love each one: the tiny bar where I was a regular for happy hour; the local bookstore that’s a haven for writers and creatives; the bakery with the best croissants in town.
Then I asked her to tell me her list, and made her the same promise.
The purchases don’t have to be big. It could be a curbside cocktail or a book or a novelty t-shirt or a bouquet of flowers. And while a few extra sales might not make a huge difference in a business’s bottom line, it’s something tangible we can do right now to show up for our communities, and a way to share recommendations for great local spots that friends can keep in mind long after the pandemic is over.
So today I’d like to invite you to take part in the #Local3Challenge. Here’s how it works:
1. Text a friend in your city.
2. Ask them to tell you their 3 favorite local businesses.
3. Promise to make a purchase at each one in the next week.
If your friend is inspired by what you’re doing, tell them to text a friend and pass it on. Hopefully that friend will pass it on, too. And keep passing it on until the day comes when we can all sit around a tiny bar or bump into each other in the aisles of a bookstore and say, “Remember how crazy 2020 was? But we made it through.”
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