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Time Tested Lessons

by Brian Buethe, President | CEO, Grimes Chamber & Economic Development

November Newsletter Article

When I was a young man I can remember begging my parents to take me into the city to go shopping.  It wasn’t a case of necessity, as pretty much everything I needed could be purchased in the nearby town.   You see, I was raised on a farm, just outside a community with a population of around 1,800 people (a background familiar to many current residents of Grimes).   Although they had everything I needed right there in my back yard, I was enamored by the big shopping malls, large department stores, and huge grocery stores that were in the “big” city.

Although I would ask to take the trip often, the answer from my father was almost always some kind of a reminder that it was better to purchase our goods and services locally.  He would say “If you don’t do business with your local businesses, pretty soon you won’t have them around.”  In hindsight I know that he was absolutely correct.  Like many small rural communities, my hometown has continued to dwindle in population and the number of businesses has dramatically decreased.

Some of that change was due to macroeconomic circumstances beyond the control of the people who lived in the community.  However, I can recall many small retail shops try to make a go of it, but were never able to capture that local retail dollar.  Too many people were like my teenage self; they wanted to shop outside of their community, even if:  a.) it cost more to travel to the store, b.) it resulted in fewer local options, and c.) it resulted in fewer local services due to the loss of tax revenue.

Luckily for the community of Grimes, the circumstances are not the same here as they were in my hometown.  We are fortunate to be in an area that people are moving to, instead of migrating away.  Every year that passes we have more options right here in our town to help satisfy our retail desires.  The lesson my father taught me still holds true.  If we want our local businesses to be successful, we must support them.

Grimes is very fortunate to have business owners and staff who sincerely care about the community they serve.  We should not take that for granted, especially during the busiest shopping time of the year.  Help spread the word to support our local businesses this holiday shopping season.  Shop locally and eat locally when you can.  If the people (businesses too) of Grimes show that they are willing to support local options first, it will not only be good for those that are already here, but it will be noticed by others who might bring exciting new options to the community.

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