Local Commentary

Bright Lights in the Little City: A Community Celebration

On Friday, Nov. 15, the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce will host Bright Lights in the Little City, a Community Celebration highlighting our local businesses. Business leaders, elected officials and residents are invited to join us at The State Theatre to honor commercial contributions to our community and thank local entrepreneurs and employees for their services, their support of our schools and nonprofits, and their contributions to our tax base. We will recognize our business community as a whole and honor those business leaders who go above and beyond in their contributions to the special nature of the Falls Church community.

This event, taking place in the middle of Falls Church’s Live Local month, will include hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a signature drink by The Kensington and Famille Café, a silent auction, and performances by Washington Sinfonietta thanks to support from the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, and by The Grandsons thanks to the Hilton Garden Inn Falls Church. It will be a wonderful celebration of the bright lights in our community, our businesses.

Earlier this week, Falls Church City Council officially designated November as Live Local Month by proclamation for the second year. The City’s formal recognition of the important role our businesses play in the Falls Church community was the brainchild of City Council Member Ross Litkenhous, who during the Council meeting, credited the Falls Church Chamber’s Live Local campaign as a significant contributor of the City’s revenue surplus for that period. Given the results we generated on social media, we are inclined to agree!

The Chamber will again conduct its #LiveLocalFC social media campaign to encourage patronage of our local businesses and services. The Chamber’s #LiveLocal Campaign is designed to provide a fun, interactive way to help people get in the habit of supporting the local business community while also sharing experiences and helping others understand the vast array of businesses in Falls Church. Participation in the campaign is easy — live your life locally, document your local business experiences with selfies and other photos, post them to your favorite social media platforms and be sure to tag them with #LiveLocalFC and the business name. You can also post them to the Chamber’s Live Local FC Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages where you can see your neighbors’ posts and access helpful information such as a new Bingo card with helpful ideas such as going out for happy hour with friends, checking out local art and history, taking a class, learning a business owner’s name, and picking up a gift for a loved one. We hope you will post often through the month, especially since each post will be eligible for weekly prize drawings! Of course, you will also be helping to promote your favorite businesses.

The benefits of living and spending locally are legion. Living local generates sales and meals taxes. Living local is better for our environment as it saves gas and cuts down emissions. Living local is healthier because it is faster, less stressful, and the customer service is usually better. Living local helps support schools and nonprofits because local business owners donate more to local schools and charities than businesses out of the area. Living local generates jobs as most new jobs are provided by local businesses. And, last but hardly least, living local helps create a greater sense of community while strengthening and preserving the fabric of Falls Church’s unique business population. The more successful our existing businesses are, the more likely more businesses will want to have a presence here. Living local and patronizing doctors, lawyers, accountants, stores, and restaurants in our community supports business owners, commercial property owners, employees, and our entire community.

The Falls Church Chamber of Commerce challenges residents, business leaders, employees, and local decision makers to choose local whenever possible, regardless of the month. The Chamber’s #LiveLocalFC campaign is designed to spur the live local focus in a fun and interactive way. The end result fulfills our mission “to promote local business interests in order to foster economic prosperity and civic well-being in the greater Falls Church community.” Better business makes for a better Falls Church. Our local businesses rely on local support and when they thrive, we all prosper. Win win.

We invite all residents and businesses to join us for Bright Lights in the Little City on Nov. 15 and to embrace the #LiveLocalFC Challenge as we kick-off the holiday spending season. You will be helping our environment, your mental health, our local economy, friends and neighbors, and our loyal and generous business owners and employees. For more information about this campaign, the Chamber, local businesses, or Bright Lights in the Little City, visit www.FallsChurchChamber.org.

Sally Cole is a local resident and executive director of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce.