Kudos to the Mad River Path for its pledge to purchase everything the organization possibly can locally. Similarly, kudos to the Mad River Chamber of Commerce for urging its members to do the same as the holidays approach.
We’ll put our thumb on the scale here too! All of us, business owners and nonbusiness owners alike have had a tumultuous 20-plus months of living through and operating/shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic is not something we can control, but we can control where and how we spend our money and to the extent possible we should spend it here in our community. The Valley is replete with amazing stores and shops where you can find gifts for friends and family this year. Shoppers can find unique and local products as well as quality gear, clothing, toys, games, jewelry, clothing and more.
Looking beyond the holidays, let’s adopt the Mad River Path strategy and keep it local as much as possible. When birthdays and anniversaries roll around, buy gift certificates to local restaurants. When you need a new lawnmower, don’t waste two hours of your time driving to a big box store in Williston (not to mention the gas), check out what you can get or order locally.
We get it that not everything one might need can be sourced or ordered locally, but if people will try to think local before Williston or Amazon or Front Porch Forum, it will benefit all of us. If we don’t support our local coffee shops -– we won’t have them. If we don’t support our local artisans -- we won’t have them. Ditto for our restaurants, farm store, hardware store, yarn store, country stores, media, retail stores, etc., etc.
The bottom line is that money spent locally supports local businesses and their employees. Money spent locally supports local employers and local families. If we don’t support each other, who will?
Money spent locally acknowledges the herculean efforts local businesses put forth to keep their customers and employees safe during the pandemic. Think about all the businesses that carefully followed state guidelines for one-way traffic, plexiglass shields and big X’s on the floor indicating safe distances for queueing so that we could safely shop there.
And when this plague ever ends, please continue to keep it local.