Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hire locally, too

There's a lot of talk these days about "buying locally" to support our local merchants. What you don't hear is the companion phrase "hire locally."

I am continually amazed when I read about a local organization that has hired the services of a company from out of state to give it advice on the future of Ketchum; another organization praising the architect from Seattle who will design its Ketchum building; or local governments contracting with out-of-county professionals for services to be provided here or to consult on issues here. What makes out-of-the-valley expertise better than local expertise? It is one thing to hire out when there is a glut of work, when a position has been offered to local firms first and rejected or where local businesses price themselves way out of the market.

Yet, when a business has to lay off a secretary because there is not enough work coming in, or when an engineer or architect is considering leaving the area because of a lack of work, hiring out of the valley hurts locals.

This valley has an extraordinary pool of very bright, creative, hard-working people who can do the work that is hired out of the valley. In these difficult economic times, before you hire from out of the valley, remember that your decision impacts the strength of our community. No one would hesitate to support a family member's business in difficult times over that family member's competitor. The same should be true of the support we give our neighbors.

Kathie Rivers


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