My experience with small businesses and the good they do for the environment and community motivated me to start this website with support from the Urban Coast Institute (UCI). My parents are the owners of a small business, The Carpet Maven, and I grew up with the knowledge of the good that a small business can do for a community. From the time I was a week old, I began visiting my parents’ store.
This was Main Street the day after I was born.
I learned how they impacted the community and how other small businesses like them give back. For example, when Hurricane Sandy hit, my parents opened a temporary small location on the coast with discounted prices to aid the flood victims. Small businesses tend to be very community-minded like this, while also being environmental assets. For this reason, I have always shopped small and encourage others to as well. You don’t often get the personalized service, friendliness, specialty products, or sense of community in a corporate chain store that you do in a small business like Unique or Smileys. And those large stores certainly do not care about the environmental conditions of the community the same way that small businesses do.
This is why I started my own publishing company, GenZ Publishing, as a part of the small business model in support of the community. Small business as a means of supporting a greener environment is truly something I believe in. I live in Monmouth County and support the small shops of the Urban Coast often. It would be rewarding to showcase them in a way that shows others how and why they should support these business people and what they stand for.
I may have grown up with small businesses, but most of my peers have not, and they have yet to experience the community and opportunities that come with them. My mission is to enlighten them through this project. By connecting with local businesses, students may also be granted new opportunities, including job and community connections, by making connections with small businesses that they would not have otherwise done. It will also motivate them to be more community-minded. Because locally owned businesses are so personable, students can have real connection with their shop owners and learn from them. You can learn more about me and my mission on my website MorissaSchwartz.com.
The mission of Coastal NJ Small Business is to bring attention to the sustainable small businesses in NJ, especially to college students who may not be as familiar with the rich history and importance of main streets and their importance to the community and the environment. ‘Shopping small’ is a great way that we can take part in being environmentally friendly and community-minded.
The Main Idea
We focus on bringing attention to shopping at small businesses, as it is good for the environment and supportive of the community at large. Shopping small creates a sense of community and is what helps a local area, like the Urban Coast, to thrive.
The Science Behind It
The positive changes that occur as a result of people ‘shopping small’ have been scientifically proven. When an individual supports a small business, they help the environment. They travel less, thus emitting less pollution in addition to less congestion. This has even been shown in scientific studies, including “Neighborhood Stores: An overlooked strategy for fighting global warming” by Stacy Mitchell, who states, “Independent, community-serving businesses are people-sized. They typically consume less land, carry more locally-made products, locate closer to residents and create less traffic and air pollution.” Another example is even the ‘shop small’ tote bag initiative, where many small businesses give customers free fabric tote bags instead of plastic bags to thwart the effects of plastic waste on the environment. Locally owned shops tend to be more
The science does not lie: small businesses help to build communities, while keeping the environment green. The SBA even has a webpage devoted to this idea. Additionally, Census.gov released information stating that small businesses have generated over 65% of the net new jobs since 1995. This is another reason why supporting these businesses is important: they give back to us all in many ways.
Another example is even the ‘shop small’ tote bag initiative, where many small businesses give customers free fabric tote bags instead of plastic bags to thwart the effects of plastic waste on the environment. Locally owned shops tend to be more ecofriendly, from locally grown produce to candles cultivated from beeswax. They often have locally grown or manufactured products, which save the environment while also making their prices more affordable for university students. Small businesses are very conscious of being environmentally green and encourage their customers to follow suit. The urban coast needs and deserves attention to its environment and the future of its ecosystem.