Jan 25, 2011 6:44 PM by Melissa Hawkes
From retail stores, to coffee shops residents have plenty of local stores to choose from, but Artesia Boutique owner, Gina Babineaux said being a small business owner isn't always easy.
""We have an extreme amount of national competition," she said. "What we do is really focus on is being unique and being different and having a really good price that people can afford and appreciate. Shopping locally means whether we are here or not."
Babineux teamed up with marketing expert, Shannon Lynd, to form 'Shop Local Acadiana' a group of local business owners banning together to raise awareness about the importance of supporting local business.
Lynd said, "if every household in the Acadiana area shifted just fifty dollars a month that would impact our economy by over 11 million dollars per month." The idea is not to boycott national chain stores. Babineaux said local stores simply offer something more.
"We know our town, we know our neighbors, we know our customers," she explained. "We are able to buy for our market and we are able to choose things that really appeal to people in the community.
Lafayette resident, Tara Lutz, said she shops at local boutiques because there's "a lot of local stuff here and that you can't get other places, with Mardi Gras coming up there's a lot of Mardi Gras things, unique things."
It's not just about one of a kind items. Many stores, like Caroline and Co. take the money you spend and put it right back into the community.
Caroline and Company Owner, Charlotte Cryer, said "we are able to support lots of charities and local non profit organizations through their fund-raisers, by people supporting us, we are able to support our community."
Visit www.shoplocalacadiana.com to find out more information and how to get involved in the initiative.