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The Magic of Shopping Local

You put food on the table of your neighbors, literally.

For the past few years and past few months, I've been working with different local organizations to create Shop Local campaigns - but I've never really gotten to explain why I'm SO PASSIONATE about it!

So while many organizations I've worked with, like the Mankato, KS Chamber of Commerce and Jewell County Community Development, have been promoting shopping local for a few years now - I think we're just starting to see the effects.

It's actually become normal for me to be surprised when I hear people say they're going out of town to shop for gifts this time of year - because Shopping Local has just become a part of who we are!

So many people in our communities have embraced the idea and philosophy behind Shopping Local. When you SHOP LOCAL, you are helping people you know pay their bills, and you're helping businesses keep their doors open, AND you're contributing to your local tax base - not the tax base of some city you don't even live in! Not to mention, you are helping people, just like me, keep their job!

This year I'm proud to say I've bought all of my gifts locally. Some are handmade, some are homemade, some are from home based businesses, and others are from businesses on the same block as ours. When you gift local you aren't just giving a gift, you're giving a gift that helped someone else give a gift. Let me know why I decided to write this little post.

My fiance, Dakota, is a mechanic who owns his own shop, and with business expansion comes worry that things won't work out. But luckily, people are getting CREATIVE and really shopping local! On top of the day to day projects, a woman called and asked to have a new stereo system installed in her husbands truck for his Christmas gift this year. That's such a creative way to support a local business while giving a great gift!

Of course, Dakota said yes and had the project on this books. Then as that job approached, more work came in and he needed to have someone else complete the project. So he hired a young tech school graduate, who also grew up in Jewell County, to help him! Not only did this woman help Dakota keep his shop going, but she helped another young person get back to Jewell County! THAT'S MAGIC!!

Sometimes Shopping Local can be a challenge, but it's a fun game that's worth the while. I love to spend my money with the people who own businesses down the street because they come back and shop with us! Yes, we're just trading goods and services, but in the mean time we all get to eat and keep our doors open and THAT'S MAGIC!

Working in Possibilities, I've gotten to know SO many people in our community that I probably wouldn't be interact with otherwise. I'm here to listen to them talk about their days, and their families, and their friends and really build a relationship with them. The best part is when they've left town for a new job or new home and they come back just to shop with us! The fact that they are taking their hard earned money and investing it our business and community is so remarkable, and it means SO much to me! We LOVE having the support we need to keep going, keep helping others, and to keep supporting and helping our community grow!

So when you get down to it, I LOVE SHOPPING LOCAL because you're not "putting your money where your mouth is," YOU'RE PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR LIFE IS! Instead of just paying for an item, you're funding a dream, families, and a community. You're creating MAGIC.

Every single time you Shop Local you are giving the gift of free enterprise to your local business owners, and I just want to say thank you. Thank you for spreading the MAGIC and for supporting the businesses that make Shopping Local possible. I hope you've enjoyed getting out in our community and Shopping Local this season - and if you haven't, don't worry! There is still time to get out and experience everything our community has to offer!



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