02/25/18 0 Local Heroes: the benefits of buying local
Local Entrepreneurs are the Local Leaders
So it was a story about a Philadelphia entrepreneur that inspired us today. You can read about Judy Wick’s work in The Philiadelphia Citizen.
Like many entrepreneurs, she found an idea that she felt passionate about and was compelled to see it to fruition. Her idea was to open a restaurant in Philly in the early 80s when it might not have seemed a promising venture. She was fortunate to have a mom and a grandmother that believed in her. Most importantly, they were able to fund her too. From there, it seems, she also launched her career as a social, local, business activist. And now “retired” from the restaurant, she works to better her community and the world at large.
In short, she has created a program called The Circle of Aunts and Uncles that provides loans to entrepreneurs in Philly, mostly women and people to color, who would not otherwise have a lot of access to funding to start their local businesses.
Her idea is simple. Not everyone has the resources or support of family members who can afford to give them the loans they need to fulfill their dreams to start their own businesses. She sums up the importance of what she is doing in the Philadelphia Citizen article this way:
“More and more, it’s becoming clear that the main struggle we’re having is corporation vs community. Corporations are controlling much more of the economy, food, media, government. We’re creating an energy field around the idea of local businesses.”
More reasons to shop locally
Of course, this is just one small story. If you want just one quick story to read about the positive impact, you must visit this Institute of Local Self-Reliance blog. In fact, the entire website is an invaluable resource and worth your time perusing.
What about Oakland?
It’s quite a story and happily it is not unique. But the story about Judy Wicks made us think about our local Oakland small/independent business people. As we continue to meet merchants, we see an important pattern: merchants almost always have an altruistic bent. They are fighting to make our communities better and stronger. We have not even scratched the surface of what our local retailers do… But what we have seen: they participate in community programs, lead neighborhood improvement groups, they give portions of their profits to local causes.
Tell us about your favorite local merchants and what they do
These stories are so inspiring and it was of the factors that makes local shopping that much more special. Reach out to us on our LOCALMOTIV Facebook page. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post below this blog. Who inspires you? We want to focus on this topic for future Blogs! We want to feature some local heroes and check out their shops.