It is really time to support local businesses

By Don Rush
By Don Rush

For years now we have all read of the demise of newspapers. And, while daily newspapers are floundering, there is actually growth in the newspaper industry.
Like Samuel Clemens said upon news of his passing to the great writer’s desk in the sky, “The report of my death was an exaggeration,” so too, are the reports of newspapers expiring. Across the fruited plains of America, community newspapers continue to grow, some even thrive.
Community newspapering is a different kind of critter in the zoology of newspapers. A community newspaper’s stripes are of a different pattern than say, big regional or national newspapers.
All newspapers work on the idea of informing, educating, entertaining and engaging readers; and, by providing content that informs, educates, entertains and engages newspapers become a profitable business enterprise — selling subscriptions and marketing.
How the community newspaper stripes differ is the commitment to the community it serves. What folks do not know about community newspapers is the commitment not only to residents, but to “Main Street.” Part of our mission is to make sure local ma and pop, brick and mortar businesses stay in business.
We do that by providing a vehicle for businesses to communicate directly to the people who are most likely to buy their goods and services. Despite accounts by any electronic media (internet included), newspaper advertising continues to be the most effective. Locally, almost three of every four residents surveyed, said they frequently buy goods and services based on the advertisements on our pages.
It’s in the community’s best interest to support local business. I thought about this upon reading accounts of mega internet business Amazon building a 1-million square foot “fulfillment center” not too far away, in Livonia. They also plan on creating a smaller center in Romulus and already operates a sorting center downriver, in Brownstown Township.

What does this mean, locally? It means it will be even easier and cheaper to buy stuff from our new regional neighbor, Amazon, versus driving five or ten minutes to your local stuff provider. This means it will be much harder for your local businesswomen and men to make a living.

What does this mean, locally? It means it will be even easier and cheaper to buy stuff from our new regional neighbor, Amazon, versus driving five or ten minutes to your local stuff provider. This means it will be much harder for your local businesswomen and men to make a living.
Big deal, right? Why should this be concern to area residents? To illustrate, let me ask you another couple of questions: How much do you think internet businesses, or heck, businesses not in your community, will support your kids; the youth in this community?
How much does “Main Street” support area youth?
I will start from the least obvious: Property taxes. All building owners (home owners and business owners) pay property taxes (aside from government, parks and churches). Orion Township Treasurer Donni Steele sent me a sample tax bill for “non-homestead” property. What sticks out is the school operating millage.
Non-homestead properties (think businesses) pay three times more for schools than do homestead properties (think your home). Residents pay six mils; your brick and mortar local businesses pay 18 mils — the maximum allowed by state law.
Should your local “Main Street” businesses go away, where will local school districts and governments go to shore-up their own operating expenses?
If you are a parent of school-aged kids, have you ever noticed the amount local businesses sponsor little league teams? Take a look at the uniforms. Do you ever wonder how many youth groups, both school sanctioned and not, there are in this community? How many service organizations are in town? Where do all these groups go for donations and support?

How much has Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat given back to your kids and community? How much do you think they will in the future?

Do these groups get on the phone and call businesses in other communities for financial help? Do they call the internet businesses? How much has Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat given back to your kids and community? How much do you think they will in the future?
My challenge to you is to ask your local business owners how many times they are contacted to donate. Then, I ask you to consider doing more shopping and buying of local goods and services versus out-of-community buying.
Please support your local businesses even if it costs a little more at the register. If you live in Orion, Oxford, Brandon or Goodrich you can bet your local schools love a good partnership with local businesses.
Clarkston Community Schools Superintendent Rod Rock told me, “Please shop local – buy your next car here, have a local plumber fix your leaky faucet, and volunteer. Please come to games, concerts, art exhibits, the Clarkston Family Farm, and get involved in Clarkston For Life: A Community Well-Being Campaign. Help a neighbor. Help a stranger. Help all of us help all of us. Clarkston is vibrant, healthy, thriving because of us . . . Our schools, businesses, and residents are interdependent.”
Send your concerns, ideas and comments to: DontRushDon@gmail.com

One Response to "It is really time to support local businesses"

  1. Kevin Kadrich   August 9, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Great thoughts !!
    It would have been nice had the Village heeded their own advice to “shop local” when they agreed to the last Garbage Hauling contract and not sent our Tax Dollars to Phoenix and now to CANADA !!
    YES – The local bidder was higher priced, and YES – It would have cost each homeowner a tad more (and YES, the Council did address and resolve the matter), but when the garbage hit the streets and recycling was disregarded for days, at least we would have had a LOCAL presence to complain to and resolve the issues. AND the local bidder does REMARKABLE things for Oxford Schools and the community at large.
    Hopefully a lesson was learned, by BOTH parties, that we need competitive bids AND we could benefit from local relationships !!
    #shoplocal
    #trustyourVillageCouncil

    Reply

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