Drink Local, More Than a Slogan

Why Supporting Your Favorite Watering Hole Could Make or Break a Small Business
By Daniel Victory & Camille Whitworth

We have all heard of the concept, it's not necessarily new. Drink local, buy local and support local businesses. It can be hard to do in this day and age especially when things come fast, the internet is at our fingertips and consumers have free reign of where to spend their money, and how. Let's face it; we live in a search-happy world.
It can be hard for a local bar to survive with the growing number of hotel venues, chain restaurants that offer drinks and the stiff competition that may come to an area near you.
We, at Victory, contend that when you pull up a bar stool at your favorite locally owned place not only are you getting a personal experience but you are helping.

Relationship Building
So many of us take to our mobile devices these days to keep in touch and stay informed of what's happening in the world. Sometimes it's nice to just talk to the person next to you or engage your favorite bartender. One thing we have learned, you never know who you are talking to and what kind of networking opportunity a small chat can lead to. It's worth the effort and attention. Community based businesses are special. So many times we have seen guests come in and leave with a new business idea, solutions to problems, a new resource or just a happy feeling that they met someone nice.

Economic Boost
We hope it goes without saying, putting your hard earned dollars into a locally run business is more beneficial than you can imagine and boy do we appreciate it. It allows for job creation, a fun local spin on your city and a way to empower a small business to succeed and share its gifts with you. When you support local businesses, we can turn that money around and spend our dollars with other local stores and suppliers. It's a win-win and you benefit with a great product. This process helps to continue strengthening your economy.

Make or Break a Business
The bar business is full of fun and good times but responsibility and liability rear in our heads. In New Orleans we have a busy tourist season and some bars experience a slow summer season. That is when we depend heavily on our regular clientele to support us. Giving back to a neighborhood establishment is not only helpful but allows several of us to sustain during the tough times. Many of us enjoy the locals taking part in pub crawls, scavenger hunts, fundraising events and the like to help our bottom line. Without local participation and support a business could close its doors and the dream of being a sustainable business could go flat, like a bad beer.

Here's what you can do:
Support the local mom and pop bar, restaurant or shop and explore the options of what they have to offer. There are plenty of local distributors, breweries and local brands of alcohol to buy and try. Find out what they are and how to get your hands on them.
Plan an event at a local spot to increase awareness, plan a company happy hour, support the owners and staff and assist with the success of their future of the business. Several studies have shown that supporting local bars helps more than one business.
Remember, local business owners who live where they work are probably not going to leave the area. We have a vested interest in our communities, neighborhoods and people we service. It's awesome to have a unique product with distinct character and often times is not replicated and stands alone as one-of-a-kind.
Drinking local has its benefits. We are not backed by big box companies; many of us don't have massive advertising budgets or time for exponential growth. What most of us have is heart, spirit and the determination to help our cities grow. Victory's Owner, Daniel Victory said "if one small business does well, we all do well."
We'll drink to that!

Daniel Victory and Camille Whitworth are graduates of the Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Business Program and the Bloomberg & Goldman Sachs Small Business Program.