Shop Local for All Our Sakes
Yep it is November and here I am yet again, to quote our good friend Heather Divoky (shout out!) give me a moment to drag out my soapbox and I will once again regale you with my “you really need to shop local” speech once again. That old chestnut.
But since 2020 is keeping in step with being unlike any other year, this time it is different.
This time shopping local is essential for many peoples’ livelihoods and survival. Yes, federal dollars were dispensed, but many small businesses were closed out before they could apply or were turned down. Again small businesses were behind the NBA, Shake Shack, and other large companies inexplicably. What most people do not know is that many small businesses have maybe one month or two in reserve and that is all that stands between them and extinction. And even those of us that received stimulus money had it, and now it is long gone to rent and insurance which don’t stop even if your doors are closed, and yet the economic impact of COVID-19 goes on still. Your patronage means much more now than ever.
Without small businesses, our downtown’s flavor would disappear. I think I speak for everyone when I say I love the look of our downtown (and I am biased) because of the character of the buildings and the diversity of the each of the shops. Imagine if you will that all of downtown is comprised of large national stores one after another. I lived in New York City for a while, and slowly all the independent restaurants and shops disappeared and Manhattan became the land of drugstores, national coffee chains, and retail stores you can find in every mall. It took so much of the charm away from neighborhoods-no matter where you live most of us don’t want that to happen.
Don’t break up the club! Something that I didn’t know when I bought a business was that I was joining a beautiful co-ed sorority, where we watch each other, we talk about business, we collaborate, and we wish each other the best. I have met some of the most interesting people on the other side of the counter. I love to talk to Gwenyfar Rohler of Old Books on Front Street about any subject under the sun. And when I need something to read-I go to her. She knows what I like. Don’t you miss that? Amazon knows some of what I like, but that is a superficial relationship. Gwenyfar gets me. It is wonderful to be gotten. Go out and make friends with a shopkeeper, I promise it will be more rewarding that pushing buttons on your computer. After this experience, I think we all know the power of connection.
Make a local holiday list. Ok I did. I love Kendall at Meadowlark at the Forum. She curates a shop full of beautiful, elegant, edgy, clothing and accessories. As I have shopped there she has gotten to know me, and knows my lifestyle and what I like. I also think she is a wonderful stylist. I am asking my family to purchase this fantastic necklace by a California
artist from her store. Why not? They always ask me what I want. If you have a young empowered woman on your list, check out our new neighbors on Front Street-Desert Rose Boutique. What a gorgeous shop owned by two sisters. I love their vibe. Opportunity is abundant.
With a few key purchases you will save downtown’s character, keep someone’s shop doors and family afloat, and have interactions that are emotionally fulfilling. Santa ain’t got nothing on you. We all buy certain things that you can’t get at a local shop, this year I am merely asking that you pinpoint some items that will please your family and friends and support as many small businesses as you can!
For all our sakes. Ok one of you help me down off my soapbox while staying six feet away…..