I’m sure you have started to see the “Occupy Black Friday images already starting to pop up around various social media platforms. While I don’t want to get into my politics and beliefs, I do think the premise behind this is pretty strong. You see, I have long felt that the best way to create a stronger local economy, develop jobs and encourage entrepreneurship is to support local businesses. It’s difficult because big box stores are much cheaper, and offer a lot of variety – but often their products are not as well made and the service is normally abysmal, compared to your local grocer, farmer, framer, etc.
When kids in college see that their family members, neighbors and friends are able to open and maintain thriving businesses, they are less likely to move out of state, and more likely to invest in themselves.
I am totally realistic too. I know that no one is going to stop buying things online or at Target or Walmart. But I do believe that when possible, people should eat and shop locally. Case in point, every local gym that I have gone to has been cheaper and much higher-quality service than places like Golds or L.A. Fitness. Most local restaurants are thankful for their repeat customers and frequently give back to local communities. And when you shop at the farmer’s market, you get locally-grown, fresh produce – sold by people who understand how and where it’s grown.