Keep Austin Local

Having once been a small business owner and now working for the Austin Kid’s Directory, I have a special place in my heart for our local small businesses. Our publication is designed to help parents locate local businesses in the Austin metro area, services and products for children and parents. Flip through a copy of our monthly publication or visit our website (https://austinkidsdirectory.com/directory/all/) to see a list of such family-friendly businesses whose dedicated owners have such a variety of talents and interests that they are willing to share with our community.

I have discovered many benefits of shopping locally-personal customer service, unique selection of products, getting to know the employees by name and just the warm fuzzy feeling I get from knowing my dollars are supporting a local family just like mine. Of course we all know there are some items that we can only find at a big box store, but on a recent trip to one of these retailers I was truly amazed by the employee who rang up my items, bagged them and handed them to me without speaking a single word to me…not a “How are you today?” or a “Did you find everything you needed?” or even a “Hey, what’s up?” would have even been appreciated. I mean even eye contact would have been a bonus at that point. Sorry for my digression, but the point is…I know everyone has a bad day and of course there are plenty of great employees at big box stores, however experiences like that compel me to be more thoughtful about where I do business.

According to the 3/50 Project (http://www.the350project.net) if half the employed population spent only $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than 4.26 billion dollars in revenue. Also for every $100 spent in locally owned independent businesses, $68 of that returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. For that same amount spent in chain stores only $43 stays here and for money spent online, nothing stays in the community.

The third annual Small Business Saturday is coming up just in time for the holidays on Saturday, November 24th. So give it a try…skip the long lines and stop by to say hello to your neighborhood business owners. Do you have a favorite local business in the Austin metro area? If so we’d love to hear what it is and what you love about it!

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