Who is crazy enough to buy local when online marketplaces offers low prices, free shipping and a guarantee? In an economy that big box retailers seem to dominate, we are slowly growing accustom to poorer customer service to save a dollar.
We used to drive out of our way to buy local when it came to full service gas stations, for instance. It was convenient, plus gave drivers a sense of well-being when they drove away knowing their oil, water and tires were checked. When is the last time a gas station attendant offered any knowledge about your car? If prices for gas had taken a dip when full service gas stations went awry, we might feel different, but what usually happens is the opposite. The younger generation of service people across most industries appear to have an unbalanced sense of entitlement, making you feel guilty for asking for an extra side of ranch, double bagged groceries, or pushing the button so you can fill your own tires.
What is the difference in buying local then? Aren’t those same bratty kids working at the specialty stores in your neighborhood? Not really. A family run business usually feels different from the moment you walk in the door. The business owner is usually running the retail counter, walking the floor, or making the pizza. Their kids and relatives usually share the same pride of ownership as they learn a trade or business. It is the definition of the American dream that was brought to our country during its foundation.
Buy local! Make old fashioned customer service the new fashion by shopping with your neighbors. Bring a sense of pride into your own household by teaching your kids how to serve and help their friends. Who knows, they just may be crazy enough to open their own local store and build the local economy for their kids too!