I consider it my public responsibility to contribute as much of my spending budget as I can to local business. When I say “local business” I’m generally referring to locally owned businesses and franchises. I wasn’t always a fan of local business – in fact, I’m ashamed to say that I used to be a purveyor and lover of Walmart. I know, I know. *hangs head*
Recently though, I changed my thinking. You know the old saying, “Charity begins at home”? Well, the people running local businesses in my area are my neighbors. They are struggling, too. I would want them to help me, so why shouldn’t I be willing to help them? In most cases, you come away from the experience with so much more than just something you bought.
For instance, I recently transferred a prescription from Walmart to my local pharmacy. Now this local pharmacy doesn’t have long hours like Walmart does. In fact, they close early on Saturday and aren’t open on Sunday at all. Plus, my prescription is going to cost twice as much. You might be thinking I’m senile at this point but there’s an upside to this! Firstly, Walmart is 6 1/2 miles away whereas my local pharmacy is 1 mile away. Secondly, I don’t have to go to Walmart. Whenever I go there, I somehow always end up spending more trying to spend less. If I stay outta that place, I’ve saved myself money and sanity! The price for my prescription ends up being $8 at the local pharmacy instead of $4 at Walmart. It’s worth every penny of the extra $4. The bonus of this transaction? The pharmacy knows me by my voice on the phone, even though I’ve only been there twice. They greet me with a smile when I come in and there’s never a long line of impatient people with mullets and screaming children. It’s a win-win situation for both of us.
Another example: this morning, Mike went up to the locally owned ACE Hardware. We needed an item that normally would cost $1.99 at Home Depot but was $4.98 at ACE. Again, Home Depot is 6 1/2 miles away and ACE is 1 mile away. Is it worth the extra $3 to save gas & mileage on the car? I think it is. Not only that but our local ACE has awesome customer service. Anytime I’ve ever been in there, someone always offers to help me. Mike had called ahead of time to make sure they had what he needed and when he arrived, the associate that took his call had it in his hand ready to go. Another bonus to today’s transaction: 2 dog treats for the pups at home. Does Home Depot do that?
These are just 2 recent experiences with local business but I am now a forever fan. I want more than just savings in my wallet. I want customer service. You can’t put a price on that.