Shop local this holiday season
To the Editor:
2016 has been a very unusual year. The grim reaper has unfortunately taken so many from us. The uncertainty following the presidential election continues to twist and turn, almost on a daily basis. The economy is not robust. A first snow storm wreaked havoc on local businesses, during what is, normally, the second-busiest retail sales weekend of the year. And then there is online sales.
For most of us, Amazon is our arch nemesis. It's like an Evil Empire that continues to grow and suck the life out of local independent businesses. It's our Kryptonite. Amazon has made it so easy for you to stay at home and shop. Free shipping . . . 2-day delivery . . . generous return policy . . . thousands of items and, did I forget to mention, great prices. How can you not like it?
Well . . . when was the last time Amazon gave your kid a gift certificate, or your local organization a gift basket? Does Amazon buy business insurance from your brother-in-law, who is an insurance broker? Does it use the services of the accountant or lawyer that plays softball with you? The graphic designer or printer that you go to happy hour with, is he/she getting any business from Amazon? I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.
The bigger picture is, if you value our unique commercial districts, composed of creative and caring independent businesses, then you need to think twice before ordering and sending your $$$ away from where you live, to places that don't even really know your name.
I've talked to many, many small business owners in the last couple of years, and they echo the same feelings. We have watched more and more of our customers spend less and less in our stores. We have watched our district streets become less and less crowded. Sure, I like a deal like the next person. Sometimes, the cheapest isn't the best way to go. We're not asking people to go cold turkey with online buying, but try and throw some business to the independent businesses that are your neighbors, your friends, your fellow parishoners . . .
We are the fabric of your neighborhood. Many Mom and Pops want to stay in business. Some may have to leave. Think twice. That's all I'm asking.
Owner of Big Fun in Coventry Village