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Start a Community-Based Business

What is it? A strong local economy is a fundamental part of a healthy community.  Small businesses are becoming an increasingly important component of an area’s economic landscape. Community-based businesses range from hair salons to yoga studios to auto repair shops.  Three factors help determine whether a business is community-oriented. Is the business and its owner (s) located in the community?  Are most of its activities located in the community?  Does the enterprise yield a net positive effect on the local economy?  By encouraging or starting a community-based enterprise, an entrepreneur helps provide a needed good or service, adds jobs, and circulates money in the community that helps support other businesses and residents.

How has it been used? Salisbury, NC is home to an independent bookstore, the Literary Bookpost.  Since first opening in 1998, the store has focused on serving the reading needs of the surrounding community from a non-corporate perspective.  The bookstore strives to support all kinds of readers in the area with a carefully selected collection of books.  In addition to this focus on spreading and enabling passionate relationships with books, the store also endeavors to be a civic asset to the Salisbury community.  The owners recognized that a strong community includes local shopping options, civic involvement and a strong arts presence.  The owners have been strong supporters of non-partisan efforts to create a vibrant community and continue to raise awareness of the need to support local artists, nonprofits and businesses.  Local authors and book clubs are supported by the store through community reading events and other activities.  The Literary Bookpost seeks to earn profits, but it looks beyond the balance sheet to play a role in creating a better place to live.  (Source: Literary Bookpost)

Further Reading

U.S. Small Business Administration

BusinessUSA

Score

Local Chamber Directory – U.S. Chamber of Commerce