Dave Wallace: Shopping locally a joint effort
In reference to the Craig Press editorial printed Friday that focused on shopping locally, I find myself generally in agreement, yet feeling some very important items have been overlooked.
It is beneficial to the community when residents shop locally; I think we all realize that. Not only does it provide financial support for our local businesses, it also sends a sizeable amount of revenue into the city and county coffers through the collection of sales tax. Shopping locally supports an alliance between the community residents and the local businesses.
Now, think about what I just said: “an alliance between the residents and the local businesses.” This is the unspoken agreement between the participating parties, a reciprocative arrangement. This means the customer agrees to buy from the local merchant, and the merchant agrees to provide merchandise at reasonable and competitive prices, and reasonably and competitively priced merchandise needs to go further than Black Friday and holiday sales. Reasonable and competitive pricing needs to be present 365 days per year.
A greedy merchant with inflated prices not only jeopardizes his or her own business, he or she can damage neighboring businesses, as well. Once an individual realizes he or she has been a victim of inflated pricing, that individual will turn to online purchases and start planning out-of-town shopping trips more frequently, shopping locally only on a quick need basis.
Typically, when an individual chooses to travel out of town in pursuit of reasonable pricing on one or more specific items, he or she will take advantage of the opportunity and purchase additional items, as well, items that may have been reasonably priced and locally available. Unfortunately, this results in an unnecessary loss for neighboring businesses that are providing competitive pricing for their customers.
Most work hard for their money and like to get the biggest bang for their buck, stretching the dollar as far as they can. This is considered wise investing. Investing in your community is no different than investing in a publicly traded company; the returns need to be favorable. The community retail sector must establish a competitive edge over the neighboring competition to retain its investors. Investing in your community, which has become the local buzzword is beneficial, however, the commitment must be present on both sides of the cashier’s counter.