Buy Local or Bye-Bye Local!
Friday, November 04, 2016
I saw this sign while traveling to my niece’s wedding in Osage, Iowa. Osage is a small town very much like Miller and the sign was outside a local clothing store very much like The Clothes Garden. Just a few words, and yet it packed a HUGE message! Last year I hit the road and visited with some of our younger Hand County residents (elementary school students), our older residents (Senior Citizens and Red Hat Society), and anyone else who would listen to the shopping local sermon. The dialogue was started and now folks are at least pausing and reflecting before shopping out of town, and some even experience guilt when they do! Many have taken the challenge of looking to Miller stores FIRST before leaving town. And for those reasons, I feel the Shop Local Campaign was a success - - yet our work isn’t finished!
So what’s in it for us – if we shop local? By shopping local, we are not only supporting a local business owner, but also contributing to sales tax revenue for our town. Our town in return, is able to take that revenue and support public works that many of us take for granted – paved streets, infrastructure, public swimming pool, etc. Not to mention the ease and convenience of shopping locally - - saving time and travel expenses (gas, tires, eating out, etc.) Our business owners support the community in so many ways - - they truly give back to the community throughout the year supporting fundraisers and local events. Their customer service is top-notch because they are our neighbors - our friends. Many also serve on various boards, teach Sunday School, coach youth sports as well as raising families.
And what’s in it for us if we DON’T shop local? As the sign said, “Bye-bye Local” - - a fate many small towns in SD have already experienced: empty store buildings, a lost Main Street shopping experience, reduced sales tax revenue and a town that begins a downward spiral of dying. Yes – everything IS at stake! Your support of shopping local is bigger than big box store bargains - - your shopping local decision saves your town and the quality of life that is the envy of city dwellers. Most importantly – YOU – and only YOU can make that decision to not only save your town but keep it strong and healthy and inviting to all of us!
Category: From the Desk of Tammy Caffee