Our View: Shop local to make a healthy community
Our local businesses are kind of like your teeth: Ignore them and they’ll go away.
In the wake of multiple power shutoffs and harsh weather, that’s the last thing Nevada County should do.
The recent closure of some local shops is disconcerting. Add to that the fears stoked by PG&E’s planned power outages and the omnipresence of Amazon and you’ve got a bad tasting recipe.
Thankfully, we’ve got control over the kitchen and can make what we like.
Our winning recipe this holiday season and beyond includes shoppers who take advantage of our county’s wide variety of businesses and craft shows, along with restaurants, musical performances and plays.
The annual appearance of Victorian and Cornish Christmas gives us multiple chances for gift buying. The shops you’ll find in Grass Valley and Nevada City also have plenty to offer. They’re right here, pay taxes that go to local governments and provide jobs to our neighbors.
And, if you poke around, you’ll find their prices can be just as competitive with businesses down the hill. Sometimes you just need to see if a local vendor can lower their price to match or beat a competitor. You’d be surprised.
A behemoth like Amazon will typically try to win the price war. What it can’t beat is the level of customer service you’ll find locally. Sure, you can box up an unwanted item and mail it back, but it’s much easier to take it to a brick-and-mortar store where you can speak to a real person. Or rush out with a gift card months from now when you need something most.
Building a thriving economy, much like dental care, isn’t something accomplished one month each year. You work on it, week after week, until you’ve reached your goal.
And then you keep going.
The “Let’s Go Out Tonight” theme is a great example of this. Let’s change it to “Let’s Go Out Every Night.” Our county boasts restaurants, wineries and theatrical shows you can’t find elsewhere. There’s little reason we should look anywhere else.
Many people harp on the phase “Don’t Roseville Grass Valley.” That also means we shouldn’t drive to Roseville to buy our gifts. Or our groceries. Or our entertainment.
Isn’t that just another way of Rosevilling our town?
Placer County businesses aren’t contributing to our local nonprofits. We don’t go to Sacramento when asking for a door prize that will be raffled off at a Nevada County event.
We go to local businesses when we need support. We should support them, now more than ever.
The stores of our county feature one-of-a-kind items you can’t find anywhere else. Some are created by local artists, people who live and work here, just like you.
This drive to shop local isn’t a herculean task or unattainable pipe dream. All it takes is a decision that all of us back up with action.
Online shopping is easy. It’s painless. It also does nothing to help this community grow and stay strong. It does nothing to help our firefighters, law enforcement officers and teachers. It only exchanges the health of our towns for baubles delivered to our door.
It’s worth it to take the time and shop local. Bundle up, take the kids, get in the car and go.
Everything you need is right here. It’s time to take a bite.
The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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“You’ve heard me say this before: Every acre can and will burn someday in this state” — Cal Fire Director Thom Porter.