Locally owned, independent businesses, scattered in “pockets” throughout our cities, lend a unique flavor, a “sense of place” and heart, to our neighborhoods. These are the small stores, cafes, and professional offices that offer personalized services and extraordinary products, and often bring renewed vitality to historic buildings.
Our neighborhood businesses are owned by “insiders” who care about their neighbors, employees, and the local issues that are important to a dynamic, textured community and sustainable local economy.
The Vest Pocket Business Coalition is an association of local business owners who want to protect the precious diversity of our neighborhoods and preserve the choice, texture, and vibrancy that make us what we are.
Vest Pocket is committed to strengthening Utah's independent entrepreneurial prosperity to benefit business and local communities through advocacy, education and social connections.
Why are Healthy Local Businesses Important?
Besides preserving the unique character of our neighborhoods, healthy, locally owned businesses are good for the economy.
Consider these study findings: The Chicago suburb of Andersonville found that for every $100 in consumer spending with a locally owned firm, $68 remains in the Chicago economy vs. $43 for spending at a chain store. Locally owned businesses in Midcoast Maine spend 44.6 percent of their revenue within the surrounding counties. However, “big box” retailers return only 14.1 percent of revenues to the local economy. The rest, according to the study, leaves the state, flowing to out-of-state suppliers and to corporate headquarters.
More information on these and other studies may be found at www.livingeconomies.org.
How does Vest Pocket Strengthen Local Businesses?
Vest Pocket promotes healthy, sustainable, local businesses through:
- Advocacy – Representing the interests of locally owned and managed businesses by ensuring that government policies are equitable and supportive.
- Education– Providing pertinent business-focused education opportunities for our members.
- Networking and Support – Providing opportunities for local businesses to learn from each other and support each other as suppliers or customers.
Need Help Growing Your Business?
Vest Pocket has partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Women’s Business Center, and Miller Small Business Resource Center at Salt Lake Community College to provide free or low-cost resources to help Vest Pocket members grow healthy businesses.
How can local business collaboration help you? Vest Pocket and its sister organization, Local First, are creating a collaborative community among its member businesses. As part of the community, you
- Buy from each other
- Participate in joint promotions
- Learn from each other
- Mentor each other
Help educate the public about the benefits of buying local For a free business listing on the Local First Web site, visit www.localfirst.org.