Jurich: Celebrate your IndependentsWritten by Stacy Jurich | | email@example.com
Toledo Choose Local is a nonprofit organization that has celebrated independent businesses in the Toledo area for almost six years. During this season of fireworks, red white and blue and Independence Day, Toledo Choose Local (TCL) is inviting Toledo to recognize the value of independent businesses to our city.
TCL defines an independent business as one with complete decision-making authority with respect to business practices. This is extremely important when you consider how deeply each decision a business makes can affect our community.
For example, an independent business can choose to source products from and partner with other independent Toledo businesses, artists, growers and farmers. This practice keeps money circulating in our local economy. Many chain and big-box businesses have unbendable purchasing contracts with outside suppliers, which means when you make a purchase at that store, your money will then leave Toledo to go to corporate headquarters and to suppliers and contractors in other cities.
Independent business owners decide the character of their business, which often reflects each owner’s unique personality and passions. These businesses together create an eclectic character for Toledo, whereas national retailers and restaurants typically require new, exact replicate sterile buildings and large paved parking lots that lack any charm or intrigue.
Toledo Choose Local’s independent business members are owners that live in Toledo and have a vested interest in the wellbeing of our community and local economy. Most independent business owners are passion driven and take risks by competing with national businesses because they value their independence. Toledo Choose Local wants to show them that Toledo values its independents, too, and is sponsoring a contest to do so.
Between now and Aug. 9, support five locally owned independent businesses by spending $10 or more at each location. At least two of these businesses must be Toledo Choose Local members (see www.toledochooselocal.org Business Member Directory). Once you have done this, mail your original receipts as a proof of purchase, with your name and email address to Toledo Choose Local, P.O. Box 951, Toledo, OH 43697. The envelope must be postmarked by Aug. 16.
The winning entry will be blindly drawn Aug. 30 and the winner will receive $200 cash!
Toledo Chose Local will host a “Celebrate Your Independents” party 6-9 p.m. July 11 at the Registry Bistro. Registry Bistro is a member of Toledo Choose Local and will provide complimentary hors d’oeuvres. This event will feature an installation of photographs by Robert Wagner of Toledo Choose Local’s Independents. The event is free and open to the public. Independent business owners are encouraged to attend
Stacy Jurich is a co-founder and board member of Toledo Choose Local.