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Shop localPosted Wednesday, March 5, 2008, at 5:03 PM
Rather than posting several entries on the "Speak Out" blog, I'm going to put my thoughts here.
I think supporting the local economy is of paramount importance in a community the size of Marshall, for several reasons:
- Buying locally keeps twice as much money of the money spent right here in the community (roughly 65% versus 35%, according to some sources).
- With gas prices as they are, a trip to Sedalia comes in at about $27, and a trip to Columbia twice as much, and Kansas City is yet more. It's not enough to calculate the mileage, by the way. You must factor in the depreciation of your car, tires, and all the rest, and that figure is about 45 cents per mile, per the IRS.
- Using gas, an ever-scarcer resource, just to go shopping does nothing to help the environment.
- Local businesses are often quite willing to order something they carry but don't have in stock right at that moment. I've been surprised more than once that items I could not find at a "big-box" retailer were available, via special order at no additional cost to me, from a locally-owned business.
- If we don't support local businesses, they will be gone. And that helps no one.
- An increase in local shopping could easily result in more local businesses being opened. It may take time, but it can happen.
I'm not suggesting there is never a reason to go out of town to shop - and freely admit I have been as guilty as anyone in doing it - but I don't think it's always necessary, and have increased my efforts not to do so.
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Kathy Fairchild received a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration in 1986 from Marycrest College, Davenport, Iowa. She is also a 2003 graduate of the paralegal program at New York University. She moved to Marshall in 2006, following a career of more than 30 years with the world's largest farm equipment manufacturer. She is an Air Force brat and grandmother of four.