As Black Friday looms on the horizon, certain Tampa Bay shoppers are eager to look past it to Small Business Saturday on November 29. The Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey predicts that this year two-thirds of consumers will shop local and for two specific reasons: supporting their community’s economy, and to find one-of-a-kind gifts. But shopping local doesn’t have to wait until the holidays.
Comedy shows like Portlandia satirize characteristics of the “Shop Local” movements like eclectic business owners, customers who are overzealously “non-mainstream”, and the exaggerated wait times at mom and pop restaurants. Behind all the laughs, though, is proof that the revival for independent businesses is returning to America’s culture. For the past decade the idea to support local businesses over larger corporations has been cooking on the economic radar and has hit a new high in the last few years. Cities like Portland, Oregon or Austin, Texas use taglines like “Keep Our City Weird” by to emphasize the local businesses that highlight the city’s personality, and Tampa Bay, FL is of a similar mindset.
In the Tampa Bay area the Shop Local movement is circulated through events and groups like Shopapalooza by LocalShops1, Localicious by Keep St. Pete Local, Tampa Independent Business Alliance, iLovetheBurg, Independent We Stand, Creative Loafing, and farmer’s markets showcasing local vendors throughout the various cities.
Small businesses don’t have to have small online identities and this is really the fuel that has fired up the shop local movement. Made possible through social media, start-ups and local shops can be found via Yelp, Urban Spoon, Angie’s List and, of course, Facebook. Vacationers and community members alike can find local resources as readily available as chain outlets.
For inspiration on your weekly small business Saturday here are some of our favorites:
1) Inkwood Books (Tampa) & Haslam’s Book Store (St. Pete)
2) ARTicles Gallery & Custom Framing, and Lance Rodgers Fine Art (St. Pete)
3) Pelican Bay LTD. Gourmet Foods/The Florida Calendar 2015 (Dunedin)
4) Anvil Paint & Coatings (Largo)
5) Redneck Wine Company (Tampa)
6) Cheese Please (Tampa)
7) Three Birds Tavern (St Pete)
8) Sapore Spice Shop (Dunedin)
9) Bloom Garden Shop (Tampa)
10) Street Fit 360 Bike Shop (Interbay)
11) Joe & Son’s Olive Oils (Tampa)
12) Kahwa Coffee (St Pete & Tampa)
13) The Mad Hatter (Tarpon Springs)
14) Te Bella Tea Shop (David Island)
15) Edison’s Food Lab (Tampa)