Shop, Eat, Drink, Spend Local. ENJOY Local!
Supporting your local retailers helps communities to grow and thrive. By dining and shopping at locally-owned businesses rather than large chains and impersonal big-box retailers, consumers can have a truly positive impact on a community’s economy, people and environment. These are local farmers, craftsmen, restaurateurs, antiques dealers, and other product providers, with items made locally and sold on a small scale.
Now, it’s easy to talk the talk and say we support local businesses. But are we really putting our money where our mouth is? Local business means a stronger tax base, better infrastructure and better schools.
When we consumers support our local business owners, we enjoy benefits we can’t possibly get from shopping at national chains. Here are some top reasons to support our local entrepreneurs.
1. Improve your family’s health.
Buying local foods has numerous health benefits to your family. When you buy from local farmers, you have access to fruits and vegetables that you know are chemical free, as well as grass-fed meats, fresh eggs, and dairy from cows that feast on local green grass each day. There are also benefits to eating raw local honeys, which are thought to help battle allergies.
2. Improve the local economy.
When a consumer buys local, significantly more of that money stays in the community. In fact, one study found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the town while only $43 of each $100 spent at a chain retailer.
Local business owners often have incentive to support other local businesses, patronizing local establishments for both business and personal reasons. Chain businesses, on the other hand, tend to get their supplies from corporate, as well as having store managers and employees that aren’t as personally invested in buying local.
3. Know the people behind the product.
When you personally know the people behind the business where you’re buying local products and services, you enjoy a connection you would not otherwise have. Along with the rest of the community, you celebrate when a favorite local business succeeds and you mourn when it’s forced to shut its doors.
4. Keep our community unique.
Local businesses give a community its flavor. The combined presence of your town’s many local businesses makes it different from every other city in the world. By supporting those businesses instead of chains, you ensure that uniqueness is preserved as a part of our community.
5. Better customer service.
If you’ve ever dealt with a large corporation, you know getting help can be a nightmare. You’ll call a 1-800 number, only to be transferred seven times and put on hold. When you shop local, the business owner is usually directly connected to every employee in the store. That leads to a personal approach that often means any problem you have is taken seriously.
6. More personalized service.
Having the owner nearby also means that owner personally knows his customers. He knows the products you buy or the services you request on a regular basis and can tailor services to make your experience even better. Buying local has benefits beyond mere convenience. When you support local business owners, you get a better level of service, as well as helping make our community a better place to live.
We should find a greater appreciation for all the small businesses, handmade artisans & restauranteurs trying to survive in this cut throat environment. Even if you don’t actually purchase something that day, just smile at the vendor, say hello, engage in a little conversation and let them we appreciate their being part of our community. We are blessed to have so many wonderful little shops and great restaurants in our town, right here in St. Francisville.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Audubon Market
Our local grocery, Audubon Market, has always been one of the cornerstones of our community, but has become such a vital part of our health and well-being during this recent pandemic. They have been taking extra care to serve its community and keep it healthy.
Lisa Leblanc, owner, explained, “We are closing every night at 7:00 pm to allow extra time to do a full cleaning of the store. We are also sanitizing throughout the day. In addition, we are offering special shopping hours for seniors.” Leblanc explained that some parts of the pandemic have been challenging. “We often request pages of items to be sent in and then only receive partial shipments. The manufacturers cannot produce enough at this time. Also, we are paying extra attention to our employees’ health by taking temperatures as they arrive to work each day.”
Leblanc explained that this family run business has seen many changes over the years since the owners first purchased Feliciana Supermarket in 1989, located next to Hancock/Whitney’s current location. Original owners were John David (her father), Mike and Lisa Leblanc and Darrell David. Later Richard Jarreau joined the group. In 1999, they added the St. Francisville Market to their grocery line up.
Their current location, Audubon Market, was opened in 2015. “We had originally looked at locating our new store next to the Subway shopping center,” Leblanc said. “We delayed moving there and it worked out for the best being in this new location.” Leblanc explained that they are pleased to offer so many new services in the location. “It was past time to do it. Our parish has really grown and we are glad to offer so many new things like our bakery, sushi and specialty items.”
Lisa also explained that the community has been very supportive of the changes and challenges the market has faced during this pandemic. Audubon Market intends to continue their extra precautions until is safe to resume normal hours of operation and looks forward to that day.
SUGGESTED SAFETY PROTOCOLS for safe reopening
This document has emerged from conversations with our state and local governmental officials, as well as business leaders ensuring that the reopening of our local economy take place in a thoughtful and safe manner.
Health and Safety First
- ALL VUNERABLE INDIVIDUALS should continue to shelter at home. We strongly recommend anyone 65 years or older shelter in place. It is also highly recommended that anyone with underlying health conditions should continue to shelter at home. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents.
- ALL INDIVIDUALS, WHEN IN PUBLIC (e.g., parks, outdoor areas, shopping areas) should maximize physical distance from others (minimum of 6 feet). Social settings of more than 10 people, where appropriate distancing may not be practical, should be avoided unless precautionary measures are observed.
- AVOID SOCIALIZING in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing (e.g., receptions, trade shows).
This document is meant to be suggested foundation, to be customized for each individual business to implement any additional protocols required to protect their staff and patrons.
Suggested Safety Protocols for consideration:
STORES & SHOPS
- Maintain no more than 10 people in the store, including staff.
- Staff to wear proper PPE at all times.
- Urge or require patrons to wear masks.
- Hand sanitizer provided for anyone entering and exiting the building.
- Customers should respect six-foot distances.
- As customers depart, shop owners should establish guidance for employees regarding cleaning and disinfecting the doors, handles.
- There should be continuous disinfecting throughout the store, and high touch surfaces include: doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
- Prop open the entry door, when applicable and appropriate, to reduce the amount of contact.
- Try to limit the number of occupants in each bathroom, as well as disinfecting after every use.
- Ensure cleaning is undertaken according to current CDC recommendations.
- Train staff on protocols and new procedures, Identify a manager responsible for implementing plan and monitoring compliance. Monitor effectiveness.
- Six feet apart and faces covered: All employees should be encouraged to remain at least six feet apart while in office or business settings and wear protective face coverings such as masks as much as possible. Wearing a face covering or mask is not a substitute, but rather an additive protection, if social distancing is compromised.
- Social distancing guidance: These may include guidance to limit in-person meetings and restrictions on building access to all vendors that are not cleared in advance and by-appointment only. Any in-person team meetings should require six foot spacing and be limited to the number of participants the room can accommodate to comply with spacing requirements.
- PPE availability: PPE should be offered to office workers and available in enough quantity for workplaces that reopen.
- Enhanced, robust cleaning should happen daily at all businesses and offices, and surfaces wiped multiple times daily. The state should consider recommending a standard for thorough cleaning and sanitization procedures.
- Work from home: Some businesses may choose to keep some employees working from home indefinitely if the employee or contractor can continue to fulfill job requirements. This should continue to be encouraged to allow for robust social distancing protocols.
- Remote meeting: Most interactions with clients should be handled via call or interactive video conference.
- Appointments should be properly spaced to avoid crowded waiting rooms.
- Other health and safety standards for business locations should be followed, such as:
- Frequent hand washing with warm water and soap (or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) to be done by all, particularly after coming into contact with any materials, surfaces, packages, etc.
- Properly covering mouths when coughing or sneezing by using a handkerchief, disposable tissue, or inner bend of the elbow.
- Protocol for anyone not feeling well, either with a fever or other unusual feeling, to remain at home.
- Establishing organizational policies to guide what happens if and when a person at the workplace is found to be COVID-19 positive, such as quarantining, enhanced sanitization, temporary office closure, contact tracing, etc.
Louisiana Department of Health Guidance:
- Be sure to clean high touch surfaces to disinfect include: doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
Recommended Cleaning Products:
- Clean the areas or items with soap and water or another detergent if it is dirty. Then, use disinfectant.
- Recommend use of EPA-registered household disinfectant. Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
Many products recommend:
- Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
- Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
- Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface.
- Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection, and ensurethe product is not past its expiration date. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening may not be suitable for disinfection.
- Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.
- Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
- Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute.
- To make a bleach solution, mix:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water, or
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
- Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.
Other Readings on Re-opening:
OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID 10
10 Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus, OSHA Poster
8 GREAT WAYS to Support Our Local Businesses Impacted by the Pandemic
1. Order food from restaurants, whether take-out or delivery
With dining rooms closed due to coronavirus concerns, restaurants have to resort to curbside ordering and/or delivery. Please consider supporting your favorite local restaurant that may be struggling to regain its customers. And when doing so, remember to tip employees well. For menu options & hours: UPDATES
2. Buy gift cards
Gift cards make great gifts for friends, family or even for yourself. You can spend those gift cards once the pandemic subsides and when it is safe to shop in person again.
3. Send a review
Small business supporters are reviewing websites such as Google Local Guides or Yelp and leaving a thoughtful review on their favorite restaurant or shop. This is a way for other residents in the local area to know that those businesses remain open for your service.
4. Shop with local stores online or social media
Smaller shops and boutiques are also hit hard by the pandemic. However, you can also support them. Check if the establishments have a website or social media page. Many of our local businesses also provide curbside service, purchase items online and drive to the shop to pick them up.
5. Tell them what you need
Small businesses are here for the community, no matter what. Many are having to change course as it hunkers down during the pandemic. Don’t be afraid to ask what you need, whether it be a certain wine, Easter basket or a dozen tacos.
6. Spread the word, refer a friend
It doesn’t hurt to show some love to your favorite business on your social media page.Tagging the company and providing a link gives them value from the post, brings their brand attention to an audience they may not have reached otherwise, and gives them a well-deserved confidence boost in the process.
7. Keep in touch
Many businesses are solely relying on social media to get word out there. If it is on social media, don’t hesitate to “like” or “follow” its pages to get the latest updates, such as sales and specials.
8. Encourage businesses to get publicity
West Feliciana Chamber is asking local businesses to reach out to update their revised hours, ordering options, etc. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also please consider joining our local Chamber so that we can assist in promoting your business, apply online: Join Today