In previous posts we have documented multiple reasons why supporting locally owned and operated businesses is essential for a community to flourish and be a vibrant place to live and work – but these businesses are also what make communities a great place to visit.
In our increasingly homogenous society where the same big box retailers, large discount chains, and franchise restaurants exist from one town to the next, more and more travelers are seeking destinations that embrace their unique locally owned and operated businesses, offering visitors a one-of-a -kind experience that includes a diverse blend of shops and eateries spanning every price point.
Recognizing this tourism trend, many cities and towns seeking to improve their economies are having success capitalizing on marketing their business district’s unique culture, charm, hospitality, and diversified product lines as an alternative to today’s cookie cutter shopping malls.
Also, unique destinations that embrace their locally owned and operated businesses not only attract visitors, but often get them to come back – sometimes even for good as talented residents or entrepreneurs ready to invest in a community willing to invest in them.
Has your most memorable vacation ever included…
- Finding that unexpected treasure at the little corner boutique where the owner personally helped you?
- Eating breakfast at the locals’ favorite greasy spoon and getting helpful recommendations for the rest of your visit along with your eggs and bacon?
- Tasting a new variety of wine at the local winery or craft beer at the local microbrewery?
- Purchasing artwork from the local art gallery where you got to meet the artist in person?
- Enjoying a sunset kayak tour with your family at the local park?
- Devouring a dinner complete with locally grown fresh produce and seafood caught that very morning?
- Sleeping like a baby under a plush down comforter at the quaint B&B owned by the same family for three generations?
Do any of these experiences sound like something offered in your hometown?
So, the next time you’re showing support to a locally owned and operated business, remember that you’re not only making your town a great place to live, but a great one to visit, and helping it grow and prosper!