Many years ago, before the birth of the 'mega-store', shoppers did not have the luxury of traveling to the next county to shop at a national retail store. Instead, those who lived in small, rural towns - like Sistersville and Middlebourne - took advantage of their local resources.
Gradually, as our world got bigger and our vision expanded, large corporations began to fill our growing need for one-stop shopping. The allure of lower prices and larger stores took the masses out of the small "mom-and-pop shops" who had served them so well, and money from local coffers. As a result, many long-standing, independantly owned businesses closed their doors, and families moved away leaving behind empty storefronts and shattered dreams.
Today, we find ourselves in a precarious situation. Our national economy is failing. Unemployment is on the rise. Gas prices are inflated. And, political unrest is widespread. The landscape is once again changing, and big-businesses are being supplemented by local businesses whose aim is to serve the local communities on a smaller scale. More and more residents, who can no longer justify a 20-mile trip for a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread, are taking advantage of the situation as a cost saving measure.
As long as our rural communities have stores to serve their needs locally, our pocketbooks will be spared the abuse of the deficit. The prices may be slightly higher at smaller stores, but the math is the same when you factor in the cost of gasoline used for trips out of town.
Spending our money close to home also breathes new life into a suffering local economy. So what's the recipe for saving our local businesses? It's simple: If half the employed population spent $50 per month in twon or three local businesses, it would generate enough revenue to greatly impact the local economy and perhaps save a dying business in our area.
Simply put, shopping locally is not only convenient, it's a smart way to save money and support the bricks and mortar of our community.
Why buy local? Because you can.