The bar as an economic stalwart

You’ve probably heard some variation on the saying “booze is recession proof.” While it’s not always the case, it does have some truth to it. A drinking establishment’s ability to stay afloat through a wide range of economic situations not only strengthens its status as a community stalwart, but also helps to improve the local economy.

“Many local customers will remain loyal to their favorite small businesses in the midst of an economic crisis. This loyalty means that small businesses are often able to stay afloat during tough times, which can further strengthen local economies,” notes the SF Chronicle.

Drinking establishments are certainly one of the few small businesses that are blessed with a deep amount of loyalty from the community. And the community is, in turn, benefitted by their own loyalty. According to The 3/50 Project, “a Minneapolis-based small business advocacy organization, for every $100 spent at local, independent stores, $68 returns to the community.”

On a simpler level, bars help to boost the health of other businesses around them by giving people more to do in their communities. Like many other small businesses, they also are a source of employment.


The bar as a gathering place for activists and concerned citizens

The historical link between pubs and local government and citizen activism is well-documented. In America, revolution was hatched in the dark corners of drinking establishments. While we’re not in full-on revolution mode today, bars and pubs still provide a gathering place for people who want to talk politics and discuss ways to better their communities.

Whether it’s a local advocacy group holding a meeting a bar, a political rally taking place at a brewery, or another local drinking establishment opening its doors to host a town hall for concerned citizens and their representatives, the tradition of fostering social change is alive and well in today’s watering holes.

Bars are also great places to hold fundraisers for local charities. They are also fast sponsors of community activities that benefit important local causes.


The bar as social interaction hub

“Pubs are perceived by people to be the most important social institution for promoting interactions between people from different walks of life,” notes the UK’s Institute of Public Policy Research. “Pubs provide a meeting place where social networks are strengthened and extended.”

It’s true. When it comes to strengthening bonds between members of a community, what a public drinking house can offer is hard to beat. Social interaction not only helps build community, but it can have extremely positive effects in overall health for individuals. Socialization enhances psychological well-being, which in turn affects physical health. People that hang out at their local pubs are less likely to be depressed, anxious, and isolated.

Some will demonize drinking institutions for contributing to unhealthy behaviors, but the fault is not with the institutions, it’s with those who would abuse them. In reality, drinking establishments play a vital role in the betterment of their communities by providing economic stability, a place for socialization, and a venue for community activism. Find an establishment in your community to start supporting today!


Photo Credit:

Written By:Henry Moore,