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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

As owners of the local newspaper, we were chronically extolling the virtues of shopping locally

One of the biggest drums we beat while we were the owners of the local newspaper was the “shop local” drum. Every chance we got we urged readers to shop locally.
One of my biggest pet peeves was the overreliance on the big-box hardware stores, two of which were located about 10 miles north of Kuna. At the time, we had two hardware stores, one of which had been strictly a lumber yard but took a major risk and bought out the hardware inventory and national affiliation from a nearby store that had gone out of business. Both of our local hardware stores were locally owned, family-owned businesses.
For whatever reason, too many of the good people of Kuna automatically assumed that it was best to shop at Home Depot or Lowe’s or Walmart rather than even give a consideration to a local business.
Nothing demonstrated the folly of that more than their ignorance of our local hardware stores.
First of all, we did a quick price check on some lumber one day at the hardware store/lumber yard, and our local store came in cheaper than the nearby Home Depot.
Second, I loved going into my local stores to be greeted immediately by the local owners and employees and asked what I needed. A couple of times, I even just handed them my list, and they walked around the store finding the items for me. Other times, I received advice on a new door handle or toilet float — without wandering the aisles for hours looking for someone to help.
Third, if a round trip to the big-box store was 20 miles and took a half-hour, that’s $4 in gasoline plus the cost of your time. If you spent 39 cents more on powder graphite at the local store, wouldn’t that be worth it?
Fourth, as I repeated regularly every chance I got in the newspaper, money spent locally gets re-circulated in the community multiple times. The owner of the hardware store will take your money and go have dinner across the street at the local Mexican restaurant. The owner of the local Mexican restaurant will get his insurance next door at the local insurance agent. The local insurance agent will have a drink at the bar across the way. The owner of the bar across the way will buy an ad in the Kuna Melba News. The owner of the Kuna Melba News will buy a new door handle at the local hardware store.
And all of us, as local residents and homeowners, paid property taxes that helped our local government and schools.
If only everyone saw things this way, though....

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