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Spellbound Organizes Domestic Violence Fundraiser

On Saturday, April 10, a dozen businesses on Wall Street in Asheville, North Carolina, will be working together to raise money for a local domestic violence agency while promoting local retail.

The fundraiser was organized by Leslie Hawkins, owner of Spellbound Children's Bookshop. Hawkins has volunteered for the agency, Helpmate, for more than a decade. "I've thought about ways my business could help," she said. In the past, Spellbound has held fundraising events and made donations of its own, but this time Hawkins wanted to get neighboring businesses involved.

She convinced the other businesses to join Spellbound in donating a portion of their April 10th sales by making the local aspect of the event very focused -- on a single street. "Since we were focusing it all on our street," she said, "that was one way to get businesses to participate."

Burton Writes About Government and Independent Businesses

Betsy Burton, co-owner of The King's English Bookshop and a member of ABA's board of directors, wrote in the Salt Lake Tribune about the need for state government to develop economic policies that promote local businesses.

Here's some of what she had to say:

"The state government is still spending millions of economic development dollars to lure huge national companies into Utah -- companies that will put many locally owned independent businesses out of business. The net result? A huge influx of national, followed by a huge flow of capital out of the state.

"Countless studies conducted across the country over the past decade show that big boxes drive existing local businesses out of business and do not increase overall retail sales or tax revenue.

"Nor do they create new jobs. On the contrary, the result of such developments is a net job loss, and lower wages and benefits. Worse, such developments use up exponentially more tax dollars."

Burton is also the co-chair of Local First Utah.