Editorial | Support local businesses and organizations all year long

As we are currently a handful of days into 2023’s Pride Month, you may have noticed the plethora of rainbow marketing campaigns and promotional advertisements recognizing LGBTQ+-owned businesses. June is an excellent month to celebrate those who are LGBTQ+ and support them in what ways we can. However, that doesn’t mean the support should stop after the month of June.

This goes for all promotional campaigns — Black History Month, Women’s History Month and others. When the promotional advertisements cease and the spotlight shifts, it is imperative we continue to support a wide variety of local establishments as, at the end of the day, it supports the entire community.

There are many reasons why you should support local establishments beyond the handful of times they are spotlighted at increased rates. First and foremost, you support the economy of your city. According to Choose Local PGH, a Pittsburgh organization whose mission is to get people to shop at local businesses, two-thirds of every dollar spent at a local business stays within the community. You should also consider that buying locally helps businesses grow and, in turn, hire more employees — also greatly helping the economy and surrounding community. If you need yet another reason to support local businesses, you should consider the environmental effects. Local businesses often shop locally themselves, meaning that there is significantly less transportation and congestion in the environment. With Pittsburgh’s terrible air quality, any way we can reduce pollution is greatly needed.
When you choose to support local organizations, nonprofits and charities, you impact those that live in your community much more. If you were to only give to a Pittsburgh nonprofit working with trans youth during the month of June, what happens during the other 11 months of the year? What about organizations uplifting the Black community or women’s health that get promoted during their respective months and might not receive that level of support until the next year? People in the community need help and support all year long. Why are only a few months delegated to important organizations that do good work? We should move to support these organizations and nonprofits each and every month.

With the widespread support of local LGBTQ+-owned businesses during June, it is a great time to start changing your lifestyle to support a variety of local organizations all year long. From supporting local grocery stores to salons and food pantries to thrift stores, there are so many establishments that need your support. And through your business, you also help create a thriving and economically sound community.