We buy a lot off Amazon.
It’s convenient. You look up what you want, read the reviews, and click on buy it now. A few days (or hours) later, the package appears on your door or in your mailbox.
But recently, my wife, Sue, and I have tried to move away from our computerized (or phone) shopping.
It has been a blessing in our lives.
Recently we opted to head out to locally owned and operated stores to make a few purchases that typically we would have made online.
We understand the economics of the situation. If you shop locally, they pay local taxes and employ local people. Those locally employed people do the same thing, and the money you spend at their stores multiplies up to seven times.
But this blog isn’t about economics. It’s about people. When my wife and I went shopping locally, we ran into old neighbors and friends we hadn’t seen in a long time. We engaged in long conversations, catching up on our friends’ lives. The reward for shopping locally went beyond increased tax revenues to our city, county, and state. It also went to quality of life.
It was a great day of engaging in our community.
I work for a contractor with multiple offices. We don’t rely solely on local businesses to stay in business. Frankly, I need people willing to shop beyond their city’s limits.
Many of the people who are reading this might find themselves in a similar situation. If you work at a large bank or national insurance company, your livelihood isn’t tied directly to the economy of your hometown. But we are still human.
We rely on other humans for social interaction. If we stop interacting with each other, we will end up back in March 2020. And who wants that?
This week is a big week in the retail world. Before Thanksgiving, we hustle to the stores and shop for crucial ingredients in our turkey day dinners. (No ham, please.) The labor shortages have caused most places to stop trying to get us out on Thanksgiving Day, but the day after, Black Friday, is still a primary shopping day.
This Saturday is popularly called Small Business Saturday. Many local businesses and business groups use it to promote the companies providing goods, services, and jobs to our communities.
I encourage you to head out on Saturday to shop at a local business. Get coffee from a local store. Have lunch at a local restaurant. (the leftovers can wait for lunch on Monday at work.)
Sleep in on Friday. Exercise to make up for Thanksgiving. Watch the USA in the World Cup.
Then skip the big box stores and chain restaurants, head to a local business, and support your neighbors.
Who knows, you might run into an old friend. You’ll go home with a lot more than you bargained for. It will leave you feeling more connected and energized.