A Reminder to Support Local

May 18, 2020

Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.”
-Maya Angelou

The avalanche of bad news over the past 60 days has focused on the cascading effect of the pandemic on different sectors of the economy. If one sector can’t pay their bills, then their partners and landlords likely can’t either. The opposite is also true, and is something to keep in mind as we slowly reopen and begin our march up the mountain of economic recovery. Each time a local business does well, it will benefit another, and another, and so on.

A simple, but important reminder this week: Please make intentional effort to buy within your local community whenever possible. As an individual consumer this means supporting our restaurants and our local retailers, but it can go much deeper than that.

Before you complete that online purchase, ask yourself if there is a local option or a local store that can provide the same good or service. You might save someone’s job by taking 10 minutes to do so before clicking “buy.” The more we buy from local merchants, neighbors and friends, the more stable our local economy will be, whether you are buying a new shirt or a new car.

If you are a business owner or executive with purchasing power, take extra steps to buy from businesses within your city and state. Need an engineer, architect, world class marketing firm, designer, supplier, or IT consultant? We have them all right here, and we are proud they call the Columbus Region home.  If we commit to this time after time, as so many already do, we will make a tremendous difference.

Given that many of our best companies are minority-owned, you can also support a community often disadvantaged and one that has been hit hard by this downturn. Simply ask some additional questions about where and from whom you are buying. Support your local newspapers and journalists. We count on them for facts and perspectives on all that is going on in the world, and they will be the first to highlight our businesses as they begin to recover and grow. Dig out that copy of business lists to investigate the great companies we have in each sector. Remind yourself of the Fortune 1000 companies headquartered right here in our region.

Most of the benefits of this go far beyond the value of the transaction or a single engagement. When businesses do well locally, they also give locally. They support local schools and nonprofits. Their ability to not only generate their own revenue but to pay local taxes solidifies local governments and helps maintain a safety net that is currently overwhelmed and under-appreciated.

As you begin the week, and as you move about more and more, and as you gather your team to discuss priorities, please make this part of the discussion.

-Kenny McDonald