Lemuria Books is a locally-owned, independent book store in the northern part of Jackson’s Fondren neighborhood.

Shop local… shop small.

It has taken on new meaning the last couple of years, hasn’t it?

As some of you plan for alternate gifts due to a supply change shortage, make your first stop Jackson this weekend for the day that has been dubbed “Small Business Saturday.”

You mean, walk into a locally-owned store, put an item in my hand or try it on, buy it – and take it home – immediately?


It’s easy to think about the ways modern technology has made it, well, too easy, to live life online (recognizing, in a pandemic, life online has been a lifesaver for many).

From work meetings to check-ins with family afar, the digital divide has brought us closer.

But when it comes to our dollars – those check-ins become “check-outs” when keeping local business top-of-mind.

We’re all guilty of it, heading to Jeff Bezos’s virtual cornucopia of everything tangible when our need for instant gratification kicks in. Two-day shipping? Yeah, I need that. Better yet, right now.

Here in JXN, small businesses are always fighting for survival. The machine versus the mom-and-pop multiplied by a pandemic could equal disaster.

But so many shops and restaurants have plowed ahead and have stayed strong despite a multitude of factors. For them, your dollars make the difference.

In Midtown, I think of Offbeat, where Phillip Rollins sells fantasy, enrichment, wonderment and fun. Patronizing his comic, record and art shop supports a local family who calls JXN home.

Downtown, Hallie Harris, who moved to JXN from Seattle, told the Clarion-Ledger, “You can’t put your life on hold” regarding her decision to open The Shopkeep Co. on Capitol Street – during a pandemic. Her love of American-made, heirloom-quality goods and a love of our city’s architecture pushed her over the edge to go for it. Local shop… local dollars that go back into the community.

Look at Urban Foxes in Belhaven Heights. Owners Cody Cox and Molly West acted on a longtime dream to own their own little slice of JXN and further contribute to a growing entrepreneurial and creative landscape. This quant pie and coffee shop is about good food and community and, throughout their year and a half, they’ve managed to keep the momentum going.

Fondren’s The Beacon has become “The Beacon USA” (figuratively speaking), because, despite a choice to close in person, they have remained a viable presence online. CBD, art supplies, vintage goods and more, and they’ll even deliver.

But I digress.

Did you know, local business generates 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big-box and corporate online retail? After all, if a small shop pays their employees who in turn buy groceries from the local market who in turn uses the local accountant, money is funneled back into the hands of those who live just outside the businesses’ front doors.

Add to that a staggering statistic: when we shop online, thankful for easy returns, at least 25% of what we send back ends up in a landfill. Perfectly good merchandise, discarded.

Local matters, especially now. Do your part, this holiday season and beyond to support the shop down the street, the folks who are your neighbors… the people who keep our city unique and going strong.

Shop Local: Highland Village | Shop Local: The Beacon | Shop Local: Offbeat | MyCity TV: ShopKeep Co. | MyCity TV: Conkrete Kickz