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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Support your small, local businesses

    Vincent Tran
    Cafe Tumerico’s new location on Fourth Avenue near the UA campus has a patio space with tables for customers to enjoy beverages and food.

    We see it on social media all the time: smaller and local businesses going viral and emphasizing the importance of getting locals’ support.

    But why is it so important to support these kinds of businesses? What are the actual benefits?

    There are many benefits to supporting your small, local businesses. According to Entrepreneur, when consumers buy locally, significantly more of that money stays within the community, improving the local economy. More often than not, local business owners are incentivized to support other local businesses, “patronizing local establishments for both business and personal reasons.” Larger chain businesses tend to get their supplies from corporate and are not personally invested in buying locally.

    There are also environmental benefits to supporting smaller, local businesses. According to ShopKeep, pedestrian-friendly town centers clustered near residential areas may reduce automobile use and traffic congestion. This can result in better air quality and less urban sprawl.

    These walkable town centers are referred to as “smart growth places” in a research report by United States Environmental Protection Agency. The report said “business that locate in smart growth places can help protect environmental resources — for example, by reducing air pollution from vehicles by encouraging walking, bicycling, or taking transit; building more compactly to protect ecologically sensitive land; or incorporating natural ways of collecting and filtering stormwater runoff.”

    RELATED: Desert Dream Ice Cream brings East Coast flavors to Fourth Avenue

    Also according to this report, these smart growth places deliver significant economic advantages to businesses, like increasing productivity and innovation, improving ability to compete for labor and creating stronger retail sales.

    According to ShopKeep, local shops require fewer public services and less infrastructure compared to shopping malls and chain stores. The process of opening a shop is not as demanding on the city planning department the way building a new department store would be.

    But above all, these businesses give your community personality.

    Local business is what differs your town from everywhere else in the world. For Tucson, that community personality is shown through Fourth Avenue. 

    According to Visit Tucson, Fourth Avenue — which the locals call “Fourth” — “was hip back when most hipsters we know were still in diapers.” Fourth is where you find “local artisans and boutiques offering curated selections of vintage clothing, jewelry, furniture, artwork, antiques, handcrafted and imported wares, hard-to-find books and anything else you might want to go digging for.”

    KGUN 9 On Your Side described Fourth Avenue as “a window into Tucson’s personality.” Fourth avenue is something special to Tucson. It showcases quirky character through its shops and restaurants that “thrive to be unique reflections of Tucson.”

    According to Patch, Arizona is ranked sixth in the nation when it comes to lending funds to small business owners. This report also shows a 25% rise in the number of granted small business loans and a 45% higher demand for Arizona loans, both compared to the third quarter of 2019.

    These loans were mostly taken out by owners of retail, restaurant, construction and manufacturing enterprises, according to Patch.

    But with being a small business, it is a lot easier to run into financial issues and harder to stay open.

    Some of the small businesses along Tucson’s precious Fourth Avenue are being run out due to rising rent and property values with the new construction being done. 

    According to the Arizona Daily Star, Irene’s Holy Donuts is closing next month on Feb. 24. The owner, Irene Heiman, said rising rents were part of this decision. It was always agreed the rent would rise to market rates, which in this case is $14,000 dollars, doubling the original monthly rent.

    Irene’s Holy Donuts’ Tucson location was opened in March 2019 by Heiman and her husband Stephen.

    With rising rents pushing smaller businesses out, opportunities for larger chains to move in are created, which would change the ecosystem of the community.

    So go on out and check out your small, local businesses. Supporting your local businesses ensures that the uniqueness they give stays within our community. Keep your community’s personality alive! 

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