REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Sell the idea of buying local

Buy American, people say. Buy local. Support your own economy and it will support you. Makes sense, and we've argued
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

Buy American, people say. Buy local. Support your own economy and it will support you.

Makes sense, and we've argued that in this space before, and looked for ways to support, praise and otherwise call attention to local businesses of note.

Because we think it's important, and you tell us with your words you think so, too.

Contrast that with the results of our admittedly unscientific online survey where visitors to sanduskyregister.com could say how important it was to them to buy local.

The results? Five hundred twenty-six voters said they preferred locally owned store, almost four times the number that preferred big-box chains. But 1,026 people -- about 11/2 times the total of votes in the other two categories -- said they shopped where they could get the best deal on what they wanted or needed.

Like we said, the poll's unscientific, but we find it easy to believe the 1,026 votes simply because, in these times, who isn't after the best break they can get?

So the challenge to local businesses is to figure out how to give customers what they can't get anywhere else, and make it worth the customer's increasingly scarce pennies.

The challenge is the same whether you're offering fresh bagels, quality clothes, novelty chocolates or local news: Come up with something they don't have somewhere else, and let people know you have it.

Though the bigger picture isn't nearly as bad as it has been during other economic crises in our history, we've all had to trim back or get creative to make use of our resources.

We've all done that before, and it's stood us in good stead.

It will do so again.

That goes whether you're buying or selling.