Richmond BizSense reports that Cuppa Tea has closed after 2 years in business near the corner of Main and Morris. With the economy the way it is, not many people are looking for the luxury items they sell. Especially VCU students. The article explains how many businesses in the VCU area are struggling especially now that it’s summertime. Who will go to these stores if students don’t? There seems to be a certain stigma for those outside of the VCU area when it comes to “that part of town”. About a year ago my husband and I went to a show at Empire Theatre (home of Theatre IV) with a couple who lived in another part of town. We were both struck by other theater-goers comments regarding the “bad” part of town in which the theatre is located. It didn’t seem so bad to us. How are local businesses going to survive without the support of the locals?
I realize I am a part of the problem. I’ll gladly drive to Panera for a sandwich instead of the multiple sandwich shops blocks from my home. I actually kept thinking I needed to visit Cuppa Tea because I love all things tea. But, now I’m too late. That makes me think of something I saw on my favorite local store’s website. The 3/50 project. In an effort to save local businesses and boost local economy they suggest thinking of three local businesses you would hate to live without and spending $50 a month in those businesses.
If half the employed population spent $50 a month in locally owned independent businesses it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community.
The whole “local” thing is pretty hip right now and I can’t even count the number of times I used it in this article, but even hip things can be pretty good, right?