Folks, I’m fairly enthusiastic when it comes to Buying Local, but I need to confess a dirty little secret that’s keeping me awake at night: I’ve been buying certain items online, and worst of all, from stores overseas.
In spite of this traitorous admission, I firmly believe that Buying Local is a great thing, because locally owned businesses provide many flow-on benefits to our community, eg:
Most of them are owned and run by locals, or people who are very keen to become locals.
They’re Gladstone’s number one employer. There are more people working in our small businesses than all the big industries combined… well, there will be when the construction mobs shuffle off.
Local businesses re-invest their profits back into our community, they train our youth, and support our many charities, clubs, and sporting groups with such enthusiasm that there’s barely any need to resort to threats or blackmail!
Now, I’m not looking at this Buy Local campaign through cheap, imported, rose coloured glasses. Like everyone else in Gladstone I’ve experienced some bad service at local businesses, actually scratch that, I’ve experienced some appalling service at local businesses.
In fact there’s one particular store so dreadful, that I often wonder how it manages to stay open; my theory is that it’s actually an undercover testing facility for the Fawlty Towers School of Customer Service.
But overall, most of them are pretty good, and they give our city a distinctive voice, a sense that you can’t get this product anywhere else, particularly when it comes to plonk, food, artworks, music, and certain column scribbling writers.
And I can honestly say that I’ve never strolled through the front door of a nationally owned chain store and had the manager greet me with, “G’day Bozo, what have you broken this time?”
Which, now that I think about it, may be a good thing?
So, buy local when you can folks for the health of our community, and if you must shop online, at least check out our local mobs first. Which leads us back to my secret online purchases; I’ve been buying second hand books from England, and that’s what’s keeping me awake at night; reading them.