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Local culture enhanced by businesses

Jenna Beemer, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Local shops. Local food. Local flavor.

Each area of the greater Muskegon County – Lakeside, downtown Muskegon, Norton Shores, and North Muskegon – is a gathering place for community because of the unique restaurants and shops that weave together to make up the collective local culture.

These locations have businesses that make people feel more like family than customers because of the supportive community.

“I like to shop local because it gives me a sense of pride that I’m kind of helping the community,” freshman Connor Fritz said. “Also, I get to know the people that are working in local shops and develop bonds that can last a lifetime.”

The people who run local businesses encourage people to continue to support small businesses.

“It is important to support local restaurants and other local places because they are what makes our city unique from other cities; they are what makes Muskegon home,” senior Madison Smith said. “I think (local restaurants, such as US 31 BBQ,) are cool because it’s a part of the old downtown Muskegon that never left; it just feels like home.”

Shores students embrace the community by shopping local and enjoying the community togetherness that small business shopping provides.

“It is important to shop locally because when you do you are supporting the friends, family, and neighbors of those in your community rather than a distant corporation,” senior Julia Kwapiszewski said. “It also creates jobs in the community which is always beneficial.”

Supporting those around the community is not only seen in contributing to the revenue of the business but also the mission of the business. Many local places double as a community gathering place serving the area’s needs as well as a place of business.

“Locally-owned businesses build strong communities by linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, contributing to local causes, and we also hold many events in our center, and a lot of our revenue from donations are shared back with the community,” said senior McKenna Matthews, who works at the Coffee Factory.

Not only does shopping local support neighbors, it promotes encouraging personal growth in local entrepreneurs and helps them be successful.

“It is so important to shop local because Muskegon has the potential to thrive, but it can only do that with the help of the people that live in it,” senior Serena Schultz said.

In an effort to spotlight the restaurants, shops, and locations that make West Michigan a great place to live, students shared their favorite places and spaces around town.

These tried and true favorites from your family at Shores won’t be disappointing. Check out these places the next time you are in the area and support your community by shopping local.

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