“A Bible, King James Version, is what I want for my birthday,” said my 76 year-old mother. It was the day before I was to leave on vacation. Her birthday was less than a week away, and I was heading south to escape the endless Wisconsin winter.
“This should be easy,” I thought. A quick search of the Internet revealed an enormous amount of Bibles available… different sizes, different colors, and even different fonts. The sheer number of choices overwhelmed me! In addition, there were shipping costs and delivery methods to determine. My husband, seeing I was frazzled, suggested that I wait until we arrived at our destination, New Orleans, to buy one.
Not having a gift for my mother’s birthday, only days away, added an element of stress to my vacation, so I went to four bookstores during our trip. While there, I found enticing southern cookbooks, racy historical novels, and heart-wrenching hurricane accounts, but no Bibles!
The vacation over, I still had no gift for my mother. On the day of her birthday, I realized that the local bookstore was my only hope. Thank goodness, they had the version I wanted, and the cost was less than if I had purchased it from the Internet bookseller.
Lesson learned. I should have remembered to shop locally first. According to Fox News.com columnist, Dan Danner, “It’s important to note that small, local businesses provide valuable economic benefits directly to their communities. A major share of the wages from the jobs they create is returned to the local economy, supporting other local businesses and neighborhood services.”
With the Internet and the plethora of shopping malls and big box stores, it becomes easy to forget that shopping locally has advantages. Consider these benefits of shopping close to home:
1. Products You Need
Local retailers strive to have the products you want in stock. They anticipate the needs of the community, and they supply the items needed by your particular population.
2. Community Involvement
Local retailers support the community. Remember, small business owners are many times the ones who volunteer at community events and who sponsor youth sports teams. They are also the ones who may sit on the school boards and run for city government.
3. Local Flavor
Local retailers offer each town a chance to let its uniqueness shine. Specialty items such as art work, crafts, and ethnic foods offered at local businesses foster an inspired business climate.
4. Better Service
Local retailers offer better service. When walking into a small business, most times you are greeted by the owner or a long-term employee. They often know your name, and they remember your likes and dislikes. Big box stores can’t compete in this area!
5. More Economical
Local businesses are just that, local. If you shop close to home, there are no long drives to the mall in the next city or even the neighboring county. Finding what you need where you live will not only save you time, it will save you money.