1. CHARACTER – Why did you choose to live in the Kalamazoo area? What keeps you here? Independent businesses give our community that “one-of-a-kind personality”.

2. A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT – Independent, community-serving businesses are people-sized. They consume less land, carry more locally- made products, and are located closer to residents-creating less traffic and pollution!

3. BUILDING COMMUNITY – The casual encounters you enjoy at neighborhood businesses and public spaces around them build relationships and local cohesiveness. They are the ultimate social networking sites!

4. ECONOMIC VITALITY – Each dollar you spend at a local independent business returns 3 times more money to our economy than one spent at a chain. A benefit we can all bank on!

5. LOWER TAXES – Local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services than most chains and generate more tax revenues per sales dollar, helping to keep your taxes lower!