Economy isn’t an ATM
Valley residents and second-home owners
take our towns for granted.
We treat the local economy like an
Automatic Teller Machine—press the right buttons and it spits out cash.
We do our jobs—the ones provided by local
businesses. We enjoy our proximity to all the valley has to offer—the
recreation, the cute shops and wonderful restaurants. We take home our paychecks
that we’ve worked hard for. Or, we get the retirement check in the mail. Then,
too many of us do the nonsensical: We spend them somewhere else.
Why? We believe a bunch of local myths,
which richly deserve to be busted.
Myth No. 1: There are no good deals and
valley prices are higher on items that can be purchased elsewhere. Wrong,
especially when the convenience factor is included. For example, catalogs may be
convenient, but the shipping costs can make any perceived bargain a
budget-buster. Some of the most eagle-eyed shoppers we know have refused to
recognize a good valley deal when they’ve seen it. They’ve spent hours looking
for the better deal, only to pay the same price—somewhere else.
Myth No. 2: Valley retailers don’t carry
moderately priced items within reach of ordinary income earners. Wrong again.
Practically every retailer in the valley carries moderately priced lines—some
are the same ones found elsewhere and at highly competitive prices.
Myth No. 3: Cheaper is better. Not
necessarily. Valley business owners are smart. They don’t want to sell stuff
that breaks, fades, shrinks or spoils quickly. They sell quality. Otherwise,
they would have to face the unhappiness of their customers—their own friends and
neighbors—if the goods fail to perform. They can’t hide from their customers.
Myth No. 4: Store hours aren’t convenient.
Well, sometimes. But more and more stores offer evening shopping. Check out this
Friday’s Shoppers Night Out when lots of businesses will be open until 8 p.m.
Myth No. 5: It doesn’t matter where I
spend my money. Do we really have to say it again? The same businesses valley
residents ignore as they shop for the holidays are the same businesses they will
call upon for donations to their favorite valley causes all year long. They are
the same businesses that are expected to pay higher rents, higher salaries and
to provide more benefits and friendly services.
This behavior drives local businesses
absolutely nuts. There is not a business in the Wood River Valley that hasn’t
been hit up for donations by well-meaning residents who ask for money from one
side of their mouths while describing the great out-of-town deal they got with
Particularly in business, the old adage is
true: What goes around, comes around. This season, shop local first.