If you're a 20 something like me, you are probably well versed in all things Gilmore Girls. If you're not, I highly recommend you rush over to Netflix and start watching all seven seasons immediately. That show represents the quintessential small town that most people don't realize still exists, but I have lived in one my entire life. Mount Dora, a gorgeous lakeside town, sits about 40 minutes outside of Orlando. I've lived here, worked in the historic district and made some of the most unlikely friends just by saying "hello" in the coffee shop.
A few years back (2010) to be exact, American Express founded the Small Business Saturday movement, and I've seen the lasting positive effects on my small town. People come from far and wide to shop local, not just on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but all year 'round now. It's changed my views on supporting local businesses too. After working in a local coffee shop as a high school and college student during my summers home, I started to realize just how important customers were to keeping a small business open.
It's not like that was an overwhelming "genius" moment for me, but when you don't have to think about it, the thought tends to escape you. When you're directly involved, working in those small, charming, historic districts of small towns you realize the value of a customer and the value of customer service.
Since then, I've made a point to get down into town on a regular basis and support our local, small business owners. Those people will keep my small town growing, changing and evolving. Those people will keep my small town from becoming a ghost town. Those people will bring more benefits to my small town. By supporting them, I'm supporting what I love so much about this town I call home.
I encourage you to get out on Saturday, November 29th and hit the small town or towns closest to you. Is online shopping convenient? Absolutely, but I love that I can drive 10 minutes and get the exact same item from Shop.Bando in a local store as I would online. Plus, I don't have to pay shipping and I can go home with it the same day.
If you live in, or around the Orlando area and looking to make a day trip to Mount Dora, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll send you all my recommendations for shopping, eating and my can't miss sunset viewing location. You can also check out Mount Dora Buzz, Shop Mount Dora and Around Mount Dora for the most up-to-date happenings.
Not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.