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Spreading The Love, Locally



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“Newtown Loves Local” is the collaboration between the Economic and Community Development Commission and the Newtown Chamber of Commerce, and it could not come at a better time.

Shop Small Saturday, the American Express initiative for the weekend following Thanksgiving, has been a yearly reminder that what you need may be practically at your doorstep. Newtown Loves Local is building on that, reminding us that every day, our local businesses rely upon community support. As businesses slowly come up to speed after being shuttered for weeks this spring to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, they struggle with how to give shoppers the confidence to walk through the doors. Creating spaces that ensure safety and adhere to health protocols that keep customers and employees safe in an uncertain environment has meant added expenses and stress for business owners. Retail business and restaurants have perennially been challenged to not only meet the bottom line, but to succeed. Losing weeks of income, losing personnel unable to wait out the shut down, and losing foot traffic creates a scenario for business owners that can only be remedied if community members make a pledge to “Love Local.”

It is easy to sit in front of the computer and click — presto — items are delivered to the door; we forget what diverse retail opportunities exist in our town. Auto parts, feed and pet supply stores, clothing, gifts, specialty foods and groceries, toys and games, floral shops, hardware and paint supplies, and consignment shops are all found within Newtown’s borders — staffed by people who want to help you, by people you may very well know.

Newtown offers services: restaurants, salons, liquor stores, craft breweries, confectionaries, and coffee shops. Why cross town borders when what you want is here, and when so many offer online or curbside service now?

Local commerce is up against behemoth online retailers. Competing with online prices is not possible for many small businesses. Think of shopping locally as an investment, though. In supporting local stores, you support the people who work there — who will then spend money in our town, supporting other local businesses. When businesses thrive, their tax dollars support the town. When our town is flush, we all benefit. That makes Newtown much more attractive to new residents and new industries, creating yet another round of success for the community.

Loving locally is one way we will recover from the adverse economic effects of the novel coronavirus.

Put on your mask and peek in the doorways of our Newtown retailers and service providers. If you like what you see, step in and give them the boost they need. If you are uncomfortable with what you see, be sure to let the proprietor know your concerns. Their goal is to gain your confidence — and your dollars.

Newtown Loves Local is an initiative to get behind. Spread a little love, if you can. (P.S. Don’t forget your hometown newspaper is a business needing your love. Visit newtownbee.com/subscribe to subscribe.)

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