Our economy is in the throes of the most dire financial situation most of us have experienced in our lifetime. In times like these, it is of utmost importance to utilize our spending dollars very wisely to vote with our dollar, and one of the smartest ways to do this is by actively choosing to support our local businesses.
When it’s time to get out your green, challenge yourself to aim your purchases within a five mile radius of where you live and keep our dollars cycling locally.
If you are going out for a meal, select a restaurant (preferably independently owned/operated) that’s a stone’s throw away. For me, this means Ten Bistro (with an amazingly fabulous mostly organic menu and just voted by Inside Gwinnett readers as best local restaurant), Vallarta (for bottomless margaritas!) or my fave Thai/Chinese place, Lon U.
When buying food, shop at the nearest grocery store and support the local farmers at the Historic Norcross Whistle Stop Farmer’s Market or join the Peachtree Corners CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
When you need to hire a company to repair your roof, build a deck, clean your gutters, clean your house, whatever- contact a reputable, independently-owned business in the greater Peachtree Corners area and in Gwinnett County.
And, now that we are approaching the holiday shopping season, consider local vendors for any gift purchases you may make. Shop The Forum or at truly one of my favorite places for unique finds- Goodwill on S.R.141.
When our local businesses are thriving, the entire community thrives and is self-supporting. When we can walk and bike to the stores where we do our business, our air is cleaner and we are healthier. When you say good morning to the person who owns the local coffee shop and they know your name (how many places can you do this?), it’s an extremely good feeling.
And, as Pattie Baker, local sustainability advocate likes to say, “The goal for our community should be to become a vibrant, local economy of small businesses supported by citizens as well as responsible corporations that tread lightly on the land and give back to the community- a win-win for all involved.”
A couple of years ago, I was asked to coordinate a family reunion in the Atlanta area; I had only one comment in response, “That’s fine as long as the entire shin-dig is in my neck of the woods.”
I booked Simpsonwood Conference Center for our three-day, 60 person gathering. Their facilities are amazing; family members stayed at the campground and we enjoyed the pool, hiking and the many other outdoor amenities. We even held a Sunday family service at their charming chapel in the woods.
Some of the family also stayed at the Homewood Suites in Peachtree Corners, where we held our Thursday evening welcome party at their outdoor pool. We provided maps and provided recommendations for area restaurants, shopping and activities.
For me, it was rewarding to plan an event for our family knowing that the money spent was feeding right back into the local economy, all less than five square miles from my house.
When we choose to support our local businesses, our community as a whole becomes stronger, healthier and positively abundant; we have the ability to support ourselves, regardless of what is going on economically around the county and the world.