In my neighborhood, there is a new huge pharmacy being built in place of an old Chinese restaurant, which doesn’t make sense because there are already two other pharmacies and a supermarket on the street and caters for our needs. I have a problem with this.
I love small businesses and people who create things and sell them to the community. I think helping to promote small businesses and keeping the community running in its own ecosystem is such a unique thing and makes the best neighborhoods in the US, but more and more big businesses are changing this.
I want to create a process that allows small companies staying in business with community support. The idea centers on a similar process to KickStarter, where it allows individuals to contribute funds to an idea or project to help gets made. This research investigates the idea of helping existing businesses to grow and stay local with all the big business competition driving into all neighborhoods.
The community benefit of local independent stores is huge. It allows your neighborhood and community to be tighter linked together so you as a shopper can promote locally made products and services. A recent study found that there is a 39% difference between independent retailers and Nation Chains in the local re-circulation of money into the community. This is a big advantage for the local community and fostering locally owned businesses and recycling the money among their neighbors.
I also think there is an opportunity for the community and technology help drive local businesses. It works in a Kickstarter style way where local consumers and community members can contribute funds to an existing local business and return for a slice of the business. Kickstarter and other crowd funding sites are focused on getting new businesses off the group and running, but as a community we neglect the existing businesses in neighborhood and often they go out of business because they have greater competition from larger brick and mortar businesses. Imagine an environment and platform where we can easily support our local businesses and recycle money back into the community.