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The Hawkeye

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Shop locally for the good of community

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Buying local is better for our community and the people who live in it. It may seem kind of strange that I have to make this argument, but it’s something we should all think about.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a lot of big corporations moving into Monroe while local businesses and restaurants struggle to keep their doors open. That’s really unfortunate, because we have a lot of great small businesses here that care about their customers.

Sure, the prices may be slightly lower at most corporate businesses, but in the long run, the money we spend at local stores has a much higher chance of coming back to us. When we buy locally, our profits stay in the community and we, in turn, benefit from those profits.

If you want your hard-earned dollars to end up in Seattle, buy Starbucks. If you’d rather it stay here, however, I suggest going somewhere like The Coffee Bean on Broadmoor Boulevard for your caffeine fix. Instead of Olive Garden, go to Geno’s for Italian food. Instead of clothes shopping at stores in the mall, go to the boutiques at Antique Alley.

Locally-owned businesses also work harder to stay open. That means their service is usually better, more personable and the owners and employees are more likely to go the extra mile for their customers.

For example, the other day, I needed to get a copy of my car key made, so I went to Walmart because I didn’t know where else to go. When I asked the woman working at the desk about getting my key copied, she took my key without speaking to me and disappeared.

A few minutes later, she came back and simply said, “I can’t copy this,” and left again with no explanation.

So I did what I should have done in the first place and did a Google search for what I needed. I found a small store on Cypress Street called A-1 Key and Lock where I was finally able to get my key copied.

The woman at the store was friendly, conversational and helpful. She even tested the copy on my car for me to make sure it worked.

Finally, by shopping and eating at local places, we’re not helping a bunch of 1 percent, billionaire CEO’s pay for their expensive cars or lavish vacations. We’re helping regular people like us.

Odds are, we might even know them. Remember, when we keep our money close to home, we’re helping our neighbors pay their bills, buy groceries and raise their kids.

As a disclaimer, I’m definitely not perfect when it comes to supporting local businesses, but we have to start somewhere, right?

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The Student News Site of University of Louisiana Monroe
Shop locally for the good of community