Support local businesses, keep the Colorado Springs’ community alive

October 10, 2016

Hannah Harvey

hharvey@uccs.edu

     If you know me personally, then you know how much I love coffee.

     This is especially true when my five cups a day are locally brewed at my favorite downtown spots.

     Loyal Coffee, my new favorite shop, recently opened its doors on South Nevada Avenue, and business has already picked up.

     When I step into Fifty Fifty Coffee House downtown, I can almost never find a place to sit.

     I love that.

     Colorado Springs isn’t what you would normally think of as a large, booming city, but local coffee shops, along with other businesses, give this city life and character that it wouldn’t have otherwise.

     We should support local businesses for a variety of reasons, but the economical and emotional aspects are what matter the most.

     “A small business is part of the heartbeat of the larger community,” said Ellen Thrasher, associate administrator for the Department of Entrepreneurship in an American Express article. The numbers only confirm this.

     The hard earned cash that you spend on a $3 coffee at a local coffee joint goes back to the community. For every $100 spent at a local store, $68 goes back to the community, according to the 3/50 Project. Only $48 goes back to the community from national chains.

     The money you spend at a local business pays the employees, who live in the same community as you. These employees can then spend their money at local businesses. This cycle improves the local economy.

     Tax money is also more localized with local businesses, according to spokesperson for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association Peter Gill in the same article .

     This money goes to your local municipality, which benefits schools, police and fire departments and filling in those lovely potholes that catch you by surprise.

     Local businesses are typically owned and managed by those who started them from the ground up. This is the case for Loyal Coffee, which is managed by local barista Tyler Hill, who comes from the Principal’s Office, another local business in Colorado Springs.

     I am always greeted with a friendly face, including Hill, when I walk into Loyal Coffee, which is something I can’t always say when I step foot into a franchise.

     Employees at local businesses genuinely care about the experience I have from the moment I walk in to the moment I leave.

     This personalized experience is what makes the local industries authentic, and college students have a chance to get in on it too.

     Local businesses support each other in the best way. When Loyal Coffee began promoting their store this summer, Fifty Fifty supported them by selling samples of their coffee and promoting them on their Instagram and Facebook.

     As an advocate for local companies, I feel comfortable trusting this type of promotion, because I know the faces behind the product.

     Keeping the community quirky and different is part of what local businesses do, and we lose this character when they sadly close their doors.

     So, buy a cup of coffee at a locally owned shop downtown; you will make a difference in the community.