'Locals 4 Locals' is a not for profit association that creates awareness for consumers about the roles locally owned small business plays within the community. In particular the Locals 4 Locals signage aims to provide the consumer with an easy way to recognise businesses that are locally owned and support the local community.
Locals 4 Locals was founded in 2011. Greg Jackson (from Jackson’s Quality Meats) found himself having similar conversations with a number of different business owners in Armidale about the ‘perfect storm’ that was starting to descend on business in Armidale. Greg and the other business owners were concerned about the fact that established businesses such as Dymocks bookstore were closing down. The group was also concerned about the impact that online shopping was having on local businesses and the sudden presence of larger multinational businesses that were opening in Armidale. Greg Jackson also noticed that all business owners had the same concerns about the future of business in Armidale, whether they were retail or sales based businesses. At the same time the locally owned businesses were still being relied on by local schools, charities and other causes to provide donations of time and products.
Out of these discussions Greg Jackson and several other local business owners came up with the idea of creating some sort of entity that could help create community awareness surrounding the importance of small business within a vibrant community. In other words these business owners felt that the conversation needed to be started about the benefits that small business has on a local community. Soon after this, Locals 4 Locals was founded and a logo was designed to accompany the concept.
The name ‘Locals 4 Locals’ and the logo associated with it was chosen to signify that supporting local businesses creates a healthy community where everyone ‘does their bit’ to help each other. In other words the fabric of a healthy community is a healthy town and business centre and if the circle of support is not ‘flowing’ the community does not work as effectively.
It was decided that in order for businesses to be eligible to be part of the Locals 4 Locals community organisation, it was a requirement for them to be locally owned and commit to employing local people. The Local 4 Locals members commit to supporting local charities, local fundraisers, local schools and sporting groups. This means that local business owners spend much of their spare time voluntarily helping local charities, community groups and special interest groups to raise valuable funds. These funds are then used to help people in the community who need some type of assistance. So when you support a Locals 4 Locals business you can be assured that you are directly contributing to the health of your community.
Benefits for Customers of Locals 4 Locals Businesses and the General Community
Supporting local businesses is very important for the success and prosperity of our local community. Local businesses are the biggest employers in Australia! This means that local small businesses have the single most influence on providing jobs for people in Australia and in our region. Furthermore, the money from locally owned small businesses is more likely to stay in the local economy. This money is then recirculated many times over in the community to the great benefit of the local economy.
By supporting a local business you not only help provide jobs, especially for our young people, but you also help sustain the rich culture that underpins the lifestyle and values of our local community. Armidale (and the surrounding areas) thrives on sporting, special interest and charitable groups, who often struggle to raise funds. In fact, many charitable groups and organisations in Armidale only exist because of local business members dedicating their time, money and knowledge to these groups. This kind of mutual help and assistance brings the community together and builds strong and healthy communities.
Therefore, when you support a business who is a member of Locals 4 Locals you can be assured that you are positively contributing to this community partnership as these are the very businesses that are sponsoring and supporting the local charities that you care so much about.
When you are shopping in town next, keep the importance of the Locals 4 Locals membership in mind and support a local business so that Armidale can continue to provide attractive career and lifestyle choices whilst maintaining a strong economy!
So always remember to look for the Locals 4 Locals logo and give a local business ‘a go’ before seeking other options.