The Shop Local program is offering three grants for local small businesses through their Small Indie Business Grant program. The grants are worth $1,000, $500 and $250 and are intended to help to provide the opportunity for small business owners in the South Bay to grow or maintain their business. Shop Local is a grassroots program that was created to inspire more people to buy from local businesses and makes it easier to find locally owned businesses through the Certified Locally Owned program.
“This grant program can help small indie businesses fund important business needs,” Heidi Butzine, the founder of ShopLocal.us said. “Maybe it’s time to expand your business or offer a new product or service. Perhaps you’re going to help revitalize the community by beautifying your place of business or going green. Businesses will need to explain how funds will be applied towards the sustainability and growth of their business.”
The grants are available to independently owned businesses that have been operating for at least three years and have ten or fewer employees. They must have demonstrated involvement in the community or local collaborative efforts and they must be located in the South Bay. Applications must be received by August 15 and will be announced in September. Visit http://shoplocal.us/grant/ for more information. ER
Heidi’s tips for shopping locally
1: START WITH ONE ITEM
An easy way to begin shopping local is to choose just one item you purchase regularly and then buy it locally. Make a list of what you buy every month. It can be anything like food, clothing, household supplies or even a service like housekeeping or gardening. Pick one item you can easily find at a local indie business and make the switch.
2: EAT AT LOCAL PLACES
One of the easiest ways to keep your money in the community is by eating at your locally owned neighborhood restaurants. For each meal you enjoy locally, you’re also helping that business stay open to serve the community and provide jobs. Plus the food is likely going to be something unique and reflect the local flavor.
3: EAT LOCAL STUFF
Buy locally grown fruits, veggies and other homemade specialty foods direct from your local farmers market or from local growers through Community Supported Agriculture groups. When shopping at the supermarket read the labels and try to buy items that are local or at least regional.
4: USE LOCAL SERVICES
The next time you need a car repair or housekeeping done, choose a local service provider over a chain or large franchise service. Or maybe you need a sign for your business or an accountant. Look to local service providers in your neighborhood to get your repairs done or to help you.
5: MAKE THE SHOP LOCAL LOOP
You drive by local business every day, but do you know them? There are interesting places that we pass by all the time in our towns but never think twice about visiting. Make a point to discover local places by driving, walking or biking a one to five mile loop around your neighborhood to get to know what’s in your town.