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Guest editorial
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I cannot tell you how many times I have seen a small business open up in my community and say to myself, “Oh, that’s great, I’ll have to get in there,” and then drive by months later and realize that I have yet to make that first stop to see what this new venture is all about.
This frustrates me. My intentions are good. And maybe if I had seen various advertisements reminding me about the place, I would have made that visit.
The best part is when it’s locally owned; it’s not just a business, but a person — possibly a neighbor or someone I know from the gym or the park or school events.
It’s personal.
I think of the excitement they must have had when first getting the idea for the business, putting it together and actually seeing it take shape. Then, as the excitement slowly fades and the reality of success or failure is in plain view, the realization of such a brave move takes hold.
It is all of our responsibility to help local business people succeed. It is the core of a community, the lifeblood. Without our local business partners, we would be left with only the large national chains with no ties to our community, only looking to take our money and run when times get rough.
So, this holiday season, I have made a pact with myself to purchase everything I possibly can from local purveyors.
Sure, I might pay a little more, but that extra coin will stay in my community, not be shipped off to some corporate headquarters up north.
And by purchasing locally, you get hometown service. It’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and get an actual person on the line or walk into a place and talk to the same person who sold you an item.
Holiday dinners and parties? Local restaurants only. There’s something to be said about walking into a place “where everyone knows your name.”
Not that all locally owned businesses are perfect. Many of them are owned by people who have never been in business for themselves before. But because they dreamed and dared, I think we can cut them a little slack while they work out the kinks. If we stick with them now, think of the gratitude they will show us later.
I hope you will join me in patronizing locally owned businesses this holiday season. Because it’s not just business, it’s personal.

– Steve Erlanger,
publisher and COO of Hometown News.

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