Why aren’t we shopping locally?

I don’t care what they say in California or Texas, the economy hasn’t gotten much better. Here, in Central Michigan we work very hard each and every day just to try to keep food on the table.

It isn’t much different if you own your own business. As a newspaper we call on the majority of business owners in Clare County, to try to sell them advertising, so that their enterprise gets more customers. It’s been tough sledding lately because a lot of people in our County have cut back on what they spend.

I’m here to encourage you to keep what little money you have here in Mid-Michigan. I’m here to ask you to spend your money with the merchants that live here and take pride in the area. These are the people, in the long term, that are going to improve the economy and make life better for you and your family.

It aggravates me when I hear people talking about spending their money out-of-the-area, or online. They think they can get merchandise cheaper, but they don’t realize the difficulty in getting that merchandise serviced. AND they certainly don’t take in to account the quality compared to what they can buy locally.

Just recently two new big box stores have opened in Clare. Shopko has taken over the old Pamida store on Mission and Family Farm and Home is locating in the former Glen’s Market, now Valuland, building. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for new business, but in these cases, the dollars paid for merchandise does not stay in the area. It goes to their headquarters- in the case of Shopko, that’s Wisconsin, where Shopko does over $10 billion a year. Family Farm and Home is closer to home. With headquarters in Muskegon, they have 20 stores scattered through Michigan and Indiana.

I don’t mean to pick on either. They both have been able to expand in this lousy economic environment. I simply do not want them to succeed at the expense of our local businesses- you know, the wife or husband who have dumped their life savings into the little downtown shop in Clare, Farwell or Harrison, and has a hard time competing with the out-of-town big box store because they are fueled by venture capitalists and can buy merchandise in bulk.

I strongly urge you spend your hard-earned dollars with your friends and neighbors. They are the people  that will be there when the going gets tough. They are the merchants that will sacrifice everything to see that your needs are serviced.

If you need help deciding who some of these merchants might be, refer to this newspaper. A good number of them advertise with us, because again we are local. Our office is in Clare, our roots are in Farwell and our home is in Harrison. Please take a second look before you decide to drive out of the area to shop. There are so many great choices here in Mid-Michigan.


2 Responses to Why aren’t we shopping locally?

  1. countrygirl-2

    October 2, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Wow I’m very upset reading this article.. so you mean to say that family farm and home is not bringing money to the Clare county .. I personally know that when I had to drive out of my way to go to tractor supply, mt pleasant, midland, saginaw ect I would save my shoping for everything that day in that town, so I personally would say now that there is one closer ( family farm and home) I would do my shopping locally. And you mean to tell me that all the other business in the Clare area are local .. hmm may want to re think that one as McDonald’s, toco bell, KFC ace hardware, johnsons elevator ect… At least family farm and home is a Michigan based company bringing jobs to Michigan so you may want rethink your article.. because it seems to me your telling people to shop and support other cities. I am yet to find what I need I’m any other store than what family farm and home carries..
    Sincerely very unhappy reader

  2. BrittM

    October 3, 2012 at 12:55 am

    I for one enjoy having a good farm store! Only one of there stores is out of state due to being asked to place it there. Not only that but the pricing is great compared to competitors, a lot of the products in store are michigan based companies such as the Armada Grains they carry, and I LOVE the service! Not only that but they match bigger stores pricing such as tractor supply who has thousands of stores NATIONWIDE and with as bad as the economy is every penny is help! As a young person with livestock and horses and feed costs rising ridiculously in the past year I love getting the best pricing on great quality feeds, supplements, mineral blocks ect. Say what you will but I will always shop for the lower price with great service included! The staff is always friendly and helpful to me with whatever I ask, not so much in other stores whether because I am younger or not I work for all I have and hard for it and am not happy or willing to return to a place not willing to take me seriously in my animals well being and I can promise Family Farm and Home has been the best place to care about all my animals! I think the “local” buisness should take notes from the professionalism I have seen in this store. It’s not about not caring about local companies it’s about being treated right, priced fair, and knowledge for needs.