Business is looking up for several small retailers in Los Angeles thanks to “Local As Can Bee” (“LACB”) (https://localascanbee.com/) an e-commerce platform created by entrepreneur and CEO Carmenita Helligar to help struggling small businesses in her Burbank, California community. Business-to-consumer e-commerce, Local As Can Bee is a lifeline for several of her favorite small retailers facing closure as an aftermath of COVID-19. Local As Can Bee is rewarding customers with points to earn free gifts for simply signing up and making a pledge to shop locally.
Local As Can Bee is an online marketplace and membership service for local retail brick-and-mortar businesses without a strong online presence, to sell their products globally, and for caring community members to lend support. All items offered by LACB are from local retailers and include clothing, home décor, beauty products, condiments & sauces, and cuisine from well-known local brands such as Poquito Mas, Black Belly Foods, Afterlite Bodycare, Unearthed Jewelry, and others. Local businesses will benefit from the marketing power and global reach of LACB’s website and network.
“Shopping local and supporting the stores we love is crucial to the growth and expansion of not just my community in Burbank but all communities. Keeping profits local increases the community’s wealth, tax revenue, and standard of living. We should all choose to invest in the small businesses in our communities” states Helligar.
According to statistics, the math for buying close to home is compelling—for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 remains in the local economy. Compare that to the same $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, where only $43 remains in the local economy..
It does take a village. LACB is inviting community members to take the Fifty/12 pledge in support of local businesses by shopping at their favorite small retailer, restaurant, or service provider.
Helligar explains that her philanthropic push to assist struggling businesses comes from experience. As an African American woman, wife, mother, and entrepreneur, she has often been overlooked, under-appreciated, and underestimated. She sees small businesses in a similar position of having to pivot around the economic shocks of a global pandemic with little assistance.
Linda Bessin, a resident and strong advocate of Burbank is Vice-Chair of LACB. Both she and Helligar are committed to their community and its small businesses.