Shopping in Wilai Boutique at Fondren Corner

Small towns preach the same gospel on a regular basis: “Shop Local,” they implore from behind the counters of their homegrown boutiques, bars and bakeries.

But what does keeping it close really mean for a community?

Statistics point to a better return on money spent locally. As a matter of fact, local business generates 70 percent more local economic activity per square foot than big box retail. After all, if a small shop pays their employees who in turn buy groceries from the local market who in turn uses the local accountant, money is funneled back into the hands of those who live just outside the businesses’ front doors.

“Keeping it local is key to keeping Fondren unique,” says David Joseph, General Manager of Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza and Ice Cream Joint. He sees it as “a common cause to patronize those within your surroundings.”

Treehouse Boutique’s Jude Muse agrees. “These are the businesses that support the community. Their success depends on the locals, and they in turn provide tax dollars back into the city and state.”

Roads and schools depend on that money. So do public facilities and programs that serve seniors. “You’re helping build up the infrastructure of the neighborhood you’re in,” says Lo Lady Fashion’s Lauren Miltner. “Most of us that have businesses here shop here, live close to here, and want to support other local events and businesses. It’s cylindrical. You put in what you take out.”

It’s true: you won’t find any door buster deals in Fondren before the turkey and dressing has even had time to get cold. “Small businesses can’t compete with the big box stores on advertising and parking lots and we certainly can’t afford to give away the store like they can,” says Rainbow Co-Op’s Patrick Jerome. “But if you shop small and shop local, you can get something your relatives can’t get, something unique and personal, and you can make your neighborhood and the world a better place.”

This weekend, we celebrate Small Business Saturday. So sleep in, put the phone or tablet away and support those who support your community. Shop small business, but expect quality and personal service in return. In Fondren, like nowhere else, our business owners specialize in this very thing. See them Saturday — and everyday — for your holiday shopping — and thank them for being in the business of local.

Fondren Business Directory