Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Shopping Local: A Movement We Can All Agree On!

      "Shopping Local" is not just another trend or a single event, its a cultural shift in how we participate in our own destiny and taking responsibility for our community, country and economy . I refuse to believe Americans are as lazy and whiny as the media would like you to believe. I'm no economist, but it appears to me that it's no easy task to open up a business unless there is demand for your product and people have the money to buy your product (not to mention loans are not as easy to come by these days).  I feel that getting behind this movement could very well create that demand.  I imagine that business owners who live in the community in which they do business have a bigger stake in that community.  Maybe that money spent on Main Street in your town will more likely be recirculated, donated to their church, school or a local youth organization. That reinvestment has the potential turn into jobs or opportunities for local people and local children creating a safer and more successful community.
      Shopping local is a worthy grassroots movement that is about creating a demand for quality American made goods and services from  small American owned businesses, I think that is a hard goal to disagree with no matter what side of the political spectrum you lean towards. This is an opportunity for Americans to take part in making America great again instead of waiting for some politician to do it. This is about a having a positive vision for the run down business district in your home town. It's about selling the deteriorating, foreclosed house next door.  This is about making your locality a great place to live, work, raise kids, go to school. This is about helping more families put their roots down, instead of families having to be uprooted because their job moved overseas or across the country.  This is about making an effort to solve the our country's problems on our own and demonstrating to our children that we are still in control of our own destiny and that America is still  The Land of Opportunity
      We're at a crossroads ladies and gentlemen. Are we going to sit around wondering who's going to create the next job for us while pundits and politicians get all up in our heads, telling us to blame each other for our problems?  I'm challenging you fellow Americans, create the demand, make local "cool", know your local merchants, show up for that grand opening! Brag to your friends about the positive experiences you have had there. Go into your local Mom and Pop Shop, introduce yourself, know their name, know who their ball team is, ask how their kids are, they are your neighbors, they share the same concerns as you and are happy to serve you. Remember, next time you pull up to that giant box store parking lot that yellow smiley faces pinned to an apron are no substitute for a real smiling face!