By MARIA OROPEZA, Lake Voice Every city and town has an identity. Whether it be a brand, a slogan, or that one thing that makes it unlike anywhere else.
One characteristic that much of the Duluth community seems to identify with is: local. There is a big support system between local businesses and their patrons. Stores pay close attention to the needs of their customers, turning consumer-buyer relationships into something more.
One major appeal to shopping at local stores is the special connection that formed between owners and customers.
“They helped us find the right food for our dog, and when they didn't carry a certain size of bag, they ordered it just for us. That's not something you get at a larger chain,” Gia Bellamy said when she started shopping at A Place for Fido.
Not only are forming connections with consumers a huge part of what makes a local business special but buying local can help to keep the city growing.
By shopping local, more money stays in the community and build the local economy Bellamy said.
“I love to shop local because local businesses are the foundation of what make a community great! Local businesses are more likely to work with charities and help one another business to business,” Mallory Moore, of Duluth Loves Local said.
Duluth Loves Local is a website that promotes and supports local businesses by eating and shopping local, and sharing photos on their social media pages. They also get to know the owners and form relationships in order for businesses to support other businesses.
DLL joins together with businesses to do special giveaways throughout the year and encourage local shopping. They give away shirts to people who show their support by sharing pictures of their local buys with #duluthloveslocal.
“Most of the gifts people get from me are found from local shops. The gifts are unique and often handmade which is something that is important to me,” Moore said.
Buying and selling local could be considered a small community in itself. Join them in building a greater Duluth by sharing your local shopping adventures and finds.