There is something you can do today to make our part of the world a better place. Shop local.
More than a slogan, shopping local is shopping smart; smart, that is, if you like healthy communities supported by a vibrant business sector. One cannot happen without the other. Study after study after study shows money spent at a local business typically stays in the local community to the entire area’s benefit.
In a real way those purchases are either plowed back into the business, or paid out in the form of wages to employees who typically spend at least a portion of their income at other local businesses, who continue on in business and continue to pay their employees.
It is true, for the consumer, dollar for dollar small businesses simply cannot compete with corporate giants who have set up shop elsewhere. Try as they might there is little a small business owner can do to subvert the economy of scale.
However – and here is where the magic of shopping local comes in – it matters. Your buying decisions really matter to the business and the business owner. Decide to skip the Brunswick Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will hardly miss you. Complain about the service and you might get a middle manager assigned to hear you out.
Walk into a Renys on any given day and you might see company President John Reny personally assisting a customer. It may not happen as often as it once did, but it is still not uncommon.
In every business, every customer is valuable. Every dollar counts. That is especially true for small businesses, whose health and welfare is vital to their communities.
We will be the first to argue that Christmas is not a mere excuse for commercial indulgence. However, if there is shopping to be done, this holiday season, and every season, shop locally. It’s smart shopping.