Friday, September 6, 2013

Help yourself by shopping locally

    The Beaver Creek Fire didn’t destroy our towns or the means by which local businesses make a living and provide jobs for residents. Everyone is grateful for this.
    That said, it’s important to understand that while businesses weren’t touched by flames, the August fire delivered a roundhouse punch by knocking the slats from under two of the biggest weeks of revenue that local businesses generate each year.
    Residents can help businesses that were strapped by the fire—and themselves—by making a point to buy locally.
    Buying locally compounds itself and produces benefits for buyers, sellers and our communities. With enough revenue, businesses can sustain jobs for local people and continue to generate tax revenue that supports emergency services, roads, parks and paths that residents and visitors need and love.
    Local spending props up residential and commercial property values. This ensures that the Wood River Valley has well-trained emergency personnel and critical services when they need them. No one can doubt the expertise and professionalism of our local fire and police departments, for example, in the wake of their performance during the fire.
    The old phrase that “what goes around, comes around” applies here.
    It’s tempting in the age of the Internet to search for a cheap price online and have products delivered. That hurts local businesses and sends taxes out of area and out of state. Making major purchases at big box stores elsewhere hurts the local economy, too.
    When a crisis rolls in, there’s no one home on the Internet to respond. That’s worth remembering when making decisions about where to shop and spend.

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