In Florida, sales which benefit local business owners
The ‘Local Business Saturdays’, name given by John Marks, mayor of the small town of Tallahassee, Florida, to his initiative: exceptional sales organised, every second Saturday of the month, in shops who have signed up to the initiative, with part of the profits being donated to projects which benefit the local community. It’s a godsend for business owners and local inhabitants. ‘Spend Smart, Get it in Tally!’: that’s the slogan for these local spending events. And it’s actually a win-win situation: local business owners, who often suffer against competition from supermarkets and shopping centres, have experienced an increase in customers in their shops and have generated exceptional profits. The subscription is free and shop owners are only required to donate a small percentage of extra revenue generated; enabling them to keep substantial surplus profits. Customers, for their part, buy goods on sale with the knowledge that a percentage of the money will serve to help their everyday lives: the profits collected are spent on hospitals, schools or even the local roads.
The initiative aims to be modern: the social media Facebook page (nearly 700 fans a year on from its creation) acts as the platform on which participating shop owners can post their ads.
The mayor, who wants to revitalise the economy of his small city which was heavily affected by the 2008 crisis, has emphasised the advantages of consuming local products. He reminds people that small business owners provide an essential revenue stream for local communities and that 70% of jobs created in the last ten years have been in SMEs, and that a town without a local commercial network drives away inhabitants as well as businesses. His initiative, which unites local inhabitants, local business owners and local government, aims to make people aware of the importance of local business and hopes to contribute to consumption habits.