Wanted: More Virtuous Circles To Strengthen Local Communities

Supporting our local schools and businesses was so much easier before the Internet upended traditional retail and communication practices.


Back in the day, shopping local epitomized convenience and community. Social networking meant visiting in person or volunteering. We didn’t average 8.2 hours per day on phones and in front of screens. One strong newspaper published all the local school and business news, including fundraisers.

Unfortunately, now it’s easier and often cheaper to stay home and shop online. And it’s harder to generate extra tax or donation dollars to keep our schools strong and grow opportunities for students.

Make It Better is particularly sensitive to the plight of local businesses. The media barrage them with ever-more requests for advertising dollars, even as they lose more money to online shopping and nonprofit donations.

For all these reasons, it’s more important than ever to create and amplify virtuous circles that connect and grow support for local schools and businesses. Shopping local to keep our schools strong is just right for the times. Kicking off that shopping opportunity with a fun community-wide event is even better.

Virtuous circle: A favorable event that gives rise to other beneficial events and loops back support to the first, ultimately helping the whole to grow.

Now, more than ever, keeping our hometowns strong means that we all need to collaborate thoughtfully and well.

An excellent example? Red Carpet on the Green. This September 12 fashion show and shopping weekend in Lake Forest’s beautiful, historic square is put on by Lake Forest’s Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Office and local fashion retailers to benefit the Education Foundations of Lake Forest/Lake Bluff School Districts.

This community-wide virtuous circle deserves as much support as possible. Therefore, Make It Better is particularly proud to be a media sponsor of this event. We encourage other school districts and local business groups to emulate it, too.

Collaboration around shared values—like supporting local schools and businesses—is one way forward in complicated times. Make It Better welcomes the opportunity to amplify similar events in other towns. This fits beautifully with our mission to be the most-trusted, easy-to-use community resource and magazine. Please let us know if we can help you amplify a “shop local to keep schools strong” event in your town.