LOLO is an acronym for Locally Owned, Locally Operated businesses. So exactly what constitutes a LOLO business? We’ve adapted our definition from the highly regarded 3/50 project, which in turn based its guidelines on those developed by the most respected Buy Local organizations in the country. LOLOs are independent brick-and-mortar businesses of all types (retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, dry cleaners, etc.) with a personal stake in the health of our local economy and the vibrancy of Jacksonville’s historic neighborhoods. A LOLO business meets the following criteria:
- The majority of the business’s ownership is private, by employees, the community, or an area cooperative, and is resident to the community in which it’s based
- The business operates out of a physical storefront or similar and is the only business residing at that specific doorway’s address (not a kiosk, home based business, etc.)
- The business relies solely on its unique name and reputation (ie, does not “wear” a regionally or nationally recognized brand name). However, we do make an exception for businesses founded in Jacksonville that still maintain all headquarter activities and corporate offices in Jacksonville, and maintain a storefront presence in our historic urban core neighborhoods.
- The business is registered only in its home state, and has no affiliation with an out-of-state headquarters or corporate office
- Full decision-making function for the business is held by the local owner(s), including the name, signage, brand, appearance, purchasing, etc.
- The business is solely responsible for paying its own rent, marketing, and other expenses
- It is not a vendor (ie, does not sell wholesale)
The purpose of the GoLO initiative is to support one very specific, very unique business model–that of the independent business that has established a storefront presence in one of Jacksonville’s terrific historic urban-core neighborhoods. So can franchises or regional/national brand names be part of the GoLO initiative? While we enthusiastically welcome their support, we don’t consider these businesses to be LOLOs.
Here again, we’re modeling our guidelines on the 3/50 project, which doesn’t consider franchises, regional/national brand names, or home based businesses “independents.” Why? Because such businesses benefit from advantages like preferred vendor lists, specially negotiated vendor pricing, corporate office access, and a regionally/nationally recognized brand name (which, by extension, allows franchises to benefit from the halo effect when the corporate office runs national ad campaigns).
LOLOs don’t have any of those advantages, which is why they need your help and support!