It wasn’t all that long ago that America was dominated by Main Street, that avenue of local businesses where everything you needed was available and sold by people you knew. There is a South Sound organization based in Tacoma which works to bring that back around by committing more dollars and traffic to local independent businesses and local products.
Go Local Tacoma, a two-year old organization of Tacoma business owners, is showing all of us that the more we support local independent business, the more everyone benefits. Patricia Lecy-Davis, proprietor of the Embellish Salon in Downtown Tacoma, is the organization’s president. She stresses the links that tie independent local business to the community at large. “It’s the thread that links business to community, to non profit entities, to government, and to customers.
Go Local has worthwhile goals, but what do they do? Most importantly, Go Local is a brand. Go Local companies are advertised as such, with a distinctive logo featuring Mt. Rainier. The logo is prominently featured on everything the organization releases, plus it is shown on the storefront of all members. In addition, Go Local has a presence at local events throughout the year, with a particular focus on Tacoma’s many neighborhood farmers markets. The logo is splashed on local magazines and newspapers, and will soon appear on the fleet vehicles of Click Cable TV, as they are one of the organization’s sponsors. If someone has not seen the logo they soon will. Go Local seeks to raise visibility for local business wherever and whenever possible.
The Go Local organization and the connected, larger idea of local production and consumption offers many advantages to local consumers. Money spent locally stays local. A Go Local business is owned and operated by the consumer’s neighbors and friends. Go Local views this as an inherent good to it’s surrounding community. Also a local-based economy is a greener economy. Money spent locally decreases the carbon footprint—the amount of total greenhouse gases caused both directly and indirectly by a product—by a significant amount.
Go Local is not just about production and consumption. They confess to aim higher than that. There is something larger and more important at stake. A sense of community, a sense of ownership for everyone. “Local matters, it matters a lot!” states Patricia Lecy-Davis, “We have an opportunity to make a shift in mindset.”
As Lecy-Davis put it, “consumers feel value in knowing that their dollars are going to support their neighbors.” Pick up a “Tacoma Live” at any Tacoma Farmers Market, and enjoy the guide of your local independent businesses in 14 neighborhoods, downtown, and on the waterway. Go to www.golocaltacoma.com for more details.