Student Voice

Shopping small helps stimulate local economies and creates thriving communities

Iron+and+Resin+storefront%2C+just+one+of+many+small+businesses+that+line+Main+St+in+Ventura%2C+CA.+Photo+credit%3A+Cecilie+Rigmor+Dahlfelt
Back to Article
Back to Article

Shopping small helps stimulate local economies and creates thriving communities

Iron and Resin storefront, just one of many small businesses that line Main St in Ventura, CA. Photo credit: Cecilie Rigmor Dahlfelt

Iron and Resin storefront, just one of many small businesses that line Main St in Ventura, CA. Photo credit: Cecilie Rigmor Dahlfelt

Iron and Resin storefront, just one of many small businesses that line Main St in Ventura, CA. Photo credit: Cecilie Rigmor Dahlfelt

Iron and Resin storefront, just one of many small businesses that line Main St in Ventura, CA. Photo credit: Cecilie Rigmor Dahlfelt

By Shannon Holst

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






As the season of giving quickly approaches, you’re more than likely to think about gifts for the loved ones in your life. While it may be tempting to head to the closest big brand retailer, American Express wants to encourage you to instead “shop small”.

Small Business Saturday always falls on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. The event was created in 2010 as a way to help small businesses and restaurants during the recession.

Michelle Steven, founder of The Refill Shoppe in Ventura, describes what it’s like to be a small business owner in America and compares the experience to “a roller coaster”.

refill shoppe 2.jpg

The Refill Shoppe offers reusable containers and products to encourage consumers to buy less plastic. Photo credit: The Refill Shoppe/Michelle Stevens

“At the end of the day, I generally leave feeling inspired and hopeful,” Steven said. “Every purchase you make is a little vote for the kind of world you wish to live in!”

Sandwiched between two of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the campaign continues to grow as more and more consumers participate.

Simi Valley resident and small shop supporter, Tyler Poppe, 32, explains why he prefers Rivalry Roasters, Simi Valley’s newest coffee house, over other major chain coffee shops. He credits the owner’s attention to detail and high-quality products offered.

“He used to roast in downtown LA in a shared roaster but in his pursuit of top-notch coffee, he decided to open up a shop in Simi Valley. When I discovered him and learned his story, I immediately had to go and check it out, not just because of his precision, but because he’s a small business and that is usually overlooked or underrepresented in suburban America,” Poppe said.

IMG_9060.JPG

Simi Valley's newest coffee house continues to gain fans as more and more people start to notice the quality of their beverages and service. Photo credit: Michelle De Leon

Rivalry Roaster’s owner Sean Adler, 48, just opened up shop this year, a longtime dream of his that finally came true. To support his family during the financial uncertainty that comes with starting your own business, Adler also worked as a bouncer at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. Tragically, he lost his life in the shooting on Nov. 7. Family and friends hope to keep Rivalry Roasters open and Adler’s dream alive.

“My only regret is that I didn’t go more before his passing”, Poppe said. “Because he’d sit and talk shop with you for days.”

With countless independently owned brick and mortar retailers and restaurants throughout Ventura County, the chance to show your support can be found on just about every corner. In doing so you are not only supporting the business, but you are also helping your community thrive. American Express estimates that for every dollar spent, 67 cents remains local.

Thom Hill, Co-founder of Iron and Resin in Ventura, explains why shopping small is so important. Referring to small businesses as “integral to the communities they’re based in”, Hill suggests that local businesses pay sales taxes, add diversity, and help to create a sense of community that corporate retailers can lack.

IMG_1196.jpg

A motorcycle bag by lifestyle brand, Iron and Resin. Manufacturing their items in the USA, the company strives to avoid fast fashion. Photo credit: Jonah Aimz

“Locally based businesses pay sales taxes to the city and county they’re based in,” Hill said. “Which, in turn, supports local schools, parks, roads, as well as local police and fire departments”.

In today’s fast-paced world, mobile ordering and self-checkouts may seem like they have their advantages. But this holiday season why not take the time to slow down. With so many homegrown options right outside your front door, show them you care, by participating in Small Business Saturday this Saturday, Nov. 24.

If you would like to help support the Adler family, a Gofundme page has been set up. Adler leaves behind a wife, Fran, and two sons, Dylan, 17, and Derek, 12.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*