You read in the morning paper that another one of your favorite small businesses has just closed – a health-food store, a hardware store, a book store. You rail against the gods of the mega-corporations, lamenting the death of your community’s soul, wishing someone would do something.
You are at the check-out register at the healthy-living supermarket (in the US, picture Whole Foods). The cashier asks, “Would you like to donate to a fund to keep our local health-food store alive?”
Knowing the readers at this blog, many of you would absolutely add a few dollars to your tab.
You are about to click the last “process my order” button online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. A window pops up, asking, “Would you like to donate 5% of your total to keep a local bookstore in your hometown going strong?”
We all love our local bookstores – we click YES!
Now picture this:
Instead of “donating to support local business,” just buy at your local stores. Yeah, it costs a little more. But if you love them enough to “donate” to them, then love them enough to shop at them!
Donating is supporting those stores in theory. “I believe in local business, so I donate.”
Shopping there is real. It is personal. It is direct, relational. It keeps people employed. It fosters independence and interdependence all at the same time.
Small stores will order what you need if they don’t have it, and they’ll call you when it’s in. They’ll set stuff aside for you when you’re on vacation, because they know you’ll love it when you get back.
So if we want to stop seeing the death of small local shopping, all we need to do is donate. To them directly. By buying there.