The mission of the GoLO initiative is to support the locally owned, locally operated businesses (we call them LOLOs) in Jacksonville’s historic urban core neighborhoods. We believe keeping these independent businesses viable is essential to growing a vibrant local economy while also preserving the unique character of our beautiful older neighborhoods. We aim to educate consumers on the critical importance of thinking locally first when making their shopping, dining or destination decisions.
So why Go Local?
- Because LOLOs form the cultural backbone of our neighborhoods. They are authentic expressions of our local DNA, and are a big part of why people want to live, work, eat and shop here.
- Because LOLOs keep money in our local economy. As consumers, it’s important that we understand the impact of our spending. When you spend your dollars (or your time) locally, you’re making an investment in your community. The 2009 study, Thinking Outside the Box: A Report on Independent Merchants and the New Orleans Economy, shows that local retailers, when compared to leading chain competitors, generate twice the annual sales, recirculate revenue within the local economy at twice the rate, and on a per square foot basis, have four times the economic impact. Local Independent Businesses also recycle more money back into the local economy and give greater support to our community’s non-profit and civic needs.
- Because LOLOs preserve choice. LOLOs choose products based on what their local customers need and desire, not because of a national sales plan; this guarantees a more diverse range of product and service choices.
- Because supporting LOLOs is a vote for sustainability. These independent businesses have elected to set up shop in existing buildings, rather than build bland boxes on the city’s fringe or in suburban strip malls accessible only by automobiles. This helps conserve land, encourages adaptive reuse of existing resources, limits sprawl, and lessens traffic and air pollution.
So is GoLO just about spending money? Absolutely not. It’s about rediscovering our historic urban core neighborhoods and embracing what makes them different from the rest of Jacksonville. These are authentic neighborhoods with great architecture, beautiful public spaces and parks, tree-lined streets and interesting people. Where we shop, where we eat and hang out–these are just a few of the elements that help define our communities and preserve their unique character. Consider GoLO your open invitation to explore the core.
The GoLO team is comprised of representatives of Riverside Avondale Preservation, Springfield Preservation and Restoration, Springfield Area Merchants and Business Association (SAMBA), the Murray Hill Preservation Association, the San Marco Merchants Association and Downtown Vision, Inc., as well as local merchants in each of these areas. The GoLO initiative is a grassroots, non-profit enterprise.