Buying locally does have an economic impact

By Nathan Wallace

Do you feel like you can make a difference? Many times we all just shrug and say, “Not really.” But that is not true when you buy locally.

We have just passed the one-year anniversary of our Blue Band Wagon program encouraging people to spend their money with local vendors within the Grand Valley. We knew that the program’s success couldn’t be measured in a dollar value. The intent was to raise awareness with in our community.

Spending your money here with local businesses, shops and restaurants can make a difference. Have you ever seen an online company supporting a parks-and-recreation Little League baseball team? Or a Denver business logo on a banner at local nonprofit fundraiser?

No, the names on Little League T-shirts and nonprofit banners are the ones of businesses right here. They are the businesses you drive past every day to work or carpooling your children to practices. These local vendors are the ones helping our kids, seniors and needy, not the online or out-of-town companies.

As this program began, I took a hard look at how my family and my business spends our money. Most of the money went to local vendors, but there were other purchases that could be bought locally. In fact, I started buying my office supplies through a local business that delivered the next day. The costs were the same and I saved time.

When you spend money in other communities, you help fix their streets, keep their lights on at night, their parks clean and their citizens employed. We all have complaints about certain services provided in the valley, but do we stop to think about the effects of spending outside of our community?

There is nothing wrong with spending in other towns. Just consider if you want that dollar to help our valley instead. Each dollar spent locally funds the ability to fix pot holes, planting and watering the flowers and providing public safety. Sure, your little purchase in Denver won’t make a difference, but all of us spending our money locally will make an impact. One dollar can be the change, when every citizen puts his or her dollar to the same cause.

Using local contractors and architects for your building and construction work keeps the money here in the valley.  They pay local taxes for equipment and property; they pay local employees’ salaries that then go to the restaurants and stores in town to provide for their families.

Using local service companies for your office and home needs also supports our local economy and keeps people employed. The Grand Valley has an impressive collection of professionals who can meet most any need you have. Having been here myself for 11 years, I have been amazed at the quality of professions that are here. Except for a few specialties, you can find good people providing quality services here that will also be here next month when you need them again.

The Blue Band Wagon has been rolling for a year now. We hope you have seen the bands and the signs. But even if you have not, stop and think about how you are supporting our community, your neighbors’ and friends’ business or place of work. We need to appreciate our community supporters who give to our kids, our schools, our community and our civic groups. They are what keep our community such a wonderful place to live.

Nathan Wallace is co-chairman of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce’s Blue Band Wagon Committee and a local business owner.


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