Shopping Small

Supporting local businesses helps build the local economy

Grabbing a cup of coffee or buying a new pair of pants can seem like a minor choice, however, that choice can impact the local economy in many ways. Samantha Kelley, the event coordinator for the Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce, is an advocate for shopping locally.
“At the Chamber [of Commerce] we are big about, ‘Be vocal, for shop local,’ ” Kelley said.
When people buy at local businesses, the money often stays in the community.
“Shopping locally keeps the money within the town and often comes back to help grow the community,” Kelley said. “Economically, if you keep your money here and you actually support local businesses that helps your community with new developments,” Kelley said.
Chance of Sno and Coffee Co. is a Nixa business. Shelby Tarwater works there, making and serving drinks, says the community has been supportive.
“We’ve been operating for almost a year and we have about 300 customers daily, it’s been amazing,” Tarwater said.
Chance of Sno sells blended drinks, coffees, pastries and dairy- free desserts similar to shaved ice. It is operated out of an old race car trailer.
“We hope to one day expand to places like Ozark and Rogersville,” Tarwater said.
Chance of Sno also advocates for local businesses and shopping small.
“We offer a positive environment to our customers that large businesses can’t always compete with,” Tarwater said. “Our lines get crazy long and we have to go as fast as we can to keep up,” Tarwater said.
Despite occasional long lines, Chance of Sno prides themselves on customer satisfaction.
“We always want to make sure our customers are taken care of no matter what,” Tarwater said.
Another small business in Nixa is Beatnik Boutique which is owned and founded by Tarah McNeill.
“At Beatnik, we sell women’s clothing geared towards a young adult demographic, ” McNeill said.
McNeill started Beatnik as a way to make passive income after becoming a mother.
“Whenever I had my first born, I stayed home to be a mom, but I wanted something to do and to make money from,” McNeill said.
Beatnik also sells products from local creators.
“My roommate from college makes candles out of her kitchen and we sell those,” McNeill said.
McNeill also believes in the power of shopping locally.
“When you shop at Beatnik or other local stores, it goes into your community and helps you meet other people and get involved,” McNeill said.
Shopping locally not only helps the community as a whole, but the people who make up the community.
“When people buy anything from me, I am so excited because that allows me to pay for things like my groceries or my daughters, who participate in competitive cheerleading,” McNeill said.
McNeill does her part to give back to the community as well.
“The money I get from my store goes back to Nixa because I myself shop locally,” McNeill said.
Spending money isn’t the only thing one can do to advocate for these shops.
“The biggest thing you can do for small businesses is to try new things and expand your horizons,” Kelley said.
Spreading the word about an upcoming business is also crucial.
“It’s helpful to let people know about your favorite small companies and tell others about them,” Tarwater said.
Word of mouth also helps grow the community closer.
“Shopping locally allows you to meet new people,” McNeill said.“I’m a mom, and starting Beatnik allowed me to meet so many other moms.”
Shoppers can compare quality and service when shopping local.
“People who come from large coffee shops often say our products are better, we spend more time on what we make,” Tarwater said.
While it can seem insignificant at times, where a person shops can make a difference in the community.
“The only way to truly have an authentic shopping experience is to shop locally,” Kelley said, “It supports everyone involved and ultimately makes Nixa a better place.”