Usually, come Thanksgiving, the Independent Record will send a message to readers: This season, shop local. It helps everyone in our community. Of course, those Amazon Prime boxes still show up on porches, but we hope every year, for the sake of our local businesses and all the families who depend on them, that the message makes some impact.
This year, for obvious reasons, we’re not waiting for Christmas to exhort our readers to shop in our community for what they need.
Now, it’s not just important — it could be the difference between a coronavirus-stressed business making it, or not making it.
Of course, we urge everyone to stay safe. We understand that in this situation, some purchases may need to be deferred.
But lots don’t, and in fact the fix we find ourselves in means that we need some items and services now more urgently than ever.
For the restaurants whose workers are preparing food for takeout every day, your business will not only support local employees now. It may also mean that when life returns to a semblance of normal, your favorite restaurant will still be there to serve you.
For other stores that are open despite the daunting conditions in order to get people the things they need, it’s even more important that their courage and determination is rewarded with your patronage.
We’re not asking anyone to flout social distancing guidelines. Just remember that your purchasing power means more now than ever, when local businesses are stressed.
Whether you need a new shirt, a pizza or a new vehicle, local businesses are going out of their way to be there for you.
The “multiplier effect” of shopping local is well-documented. It becomes vital when people are losing jobs, temporarily or permanently, and when this virus has knocked us all back on our heels.
Our consumer decisions can be as simple as filling a prescription at the local store instead of the by-mail pharmacy, or buying that pair of boots locally instead of online. In the long run the benefits of a healthy business community lift all of us.
We understand that some businesses and products are unavailable because of our health orders. When those businesses reopen, please show them immediate support. And for now, please patronize the stores that are remaining open.
They’ve never needed you more, and vice versa.
Anita Fasbender is publisher of The Montana Standard and the Independent Record.
Concerned about COVID-19?
Sign up now to get the most recent coronavirus headlines and other important local and national news sent to your email inbox daily.