CHAMBER CHAT: Ghost towns happen when you don’t shop local

I read this article today as I grappled with the reality of having cancelled our Third Thursday event series because it was poorly attended and didn’t result in more sales for the participating businesses.

When the Eagle Grove Event & Promotions Committee came to the realization that the event was failing, it was too late to fix it. All but three of the businesses who asked that we start something like Third Thursday had (probably wisely) decided to stop participating, and the rest were getting disheartened. Cancelling it was the right thing to do.

This doesn’t mean the committee or the businesses will give up. They (and the Chamber) will come up with new events to try, switch days of the week, and go bigger and smaller with the ebbs and flows of the retail calendar. Small business owners are used to thinking on their feet and regrouping, and the Chamber is committed to doing all we can to help them. Small business owners are a tough lot. But, that being said, let’s think about this quote and consider what the community can be doing to make our local businesses’ lives easier:

“Ghost towns happen when you don’t shop local.”

Dramatic statement? Yes.

Incorrect statement? NO.

For the rest of this post, please read, enjoy, but more than that, think about what the author is saying about their community of Princeton, New Jersey, and think how you can do things differently when it comes to shopping and where you spend your time and money. 

To the Editor:

Some things disappear because something much better takes its place and there is just no need for it anymore.  Ice boxes, disposable cameras, and flip phones are just a couple of examples.

But some things are timeless and beautiful just the way they are, and one of those things is our special downtown that adds sparkle and life to this community. There is nothing quite like downtown Princeton.

Walking into your local coffee shop and having the barista greet you by name and ask how your vacation was.  Stopping by the wonderful little gift shop and buying that friend a handmade mug or homemade soaps or leather goods for the holidays, instead of ordering something from Amazon. Getting that haircut at the little local barbershop or hair salon where you can chat with your friends and catch up on the local “news.” These are all small things that build a community.

Supporting our small, local businesses is not only incredibly important to our local economy, it is so rewarding. You are contributing to a vibrant downtown. Local businesses are better for the environment. They use less tax money, make more jobs, and keep more money in the local community. And you benefit from the face-to-face customer service and build relationships with your neighbors. Totally retro (and therefore hipster certified cool). This trust is priceless … see for yourself what the difference is, versus pointing and clicking.

We may not take time to think about how important it is to support our local businesses and if we continue to ignore their importance, they may be gone, and it may not be until they are that we realize just how much we love them.  We recently saw a sign outside of a small shop that said, “Ghost towns happen when you don’t shop local.” Shopping local keeps small, cute businesses (and small, cute business owners!) in business. Don’t like to see empty and vacant storefronts downtown? Support local businesses that are open for you every day!”


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Eagle Grove Chamber & Development
212 W. Broadway, PO Box 2
Eagle Grove, IA 50533

Phone: 515-448-4821
Fax: 515-603-6119