By Kay Boothe

Editor

Hospitals closing, businesses barely staying afloat, higher taxes for fewer services … all of this has got to be coming from somewhere. It’s called the Internet. Not an orderly highway that it was sold as 30 years ago, but an all-consuming Maverick of a tidal wave that wipes out everything in it’s path, except those who are willing to take the risk and ride it out.

Everything is on the Internet now. Grocery shopping, car shopping, correspondence, clothes, shoes, movies … you name it and you can buy it, rent it, or see it online.

You can survive now; quiet comfortably, without ever leaving your home. You can even work remotely! How fancy is that?

Life is great! Right? Yes, the Little River hospital, in Crockett closed and many area businesses are struggling but that happened just because of the economy right?

Yes, but probably not for the reasons that you are thinking. When you do the bulk of your shopping online, your community loses the bulk of its tax base. Not just sales tax, but floor plan taxes for businesses. It translates into the loss of local jobs; it’s hard to keep employees on the payroll when there are no customer’s coming through the door.

And, there is no telling how many times local advertising salespeople have heard “I put all my advertising into Facebook now”, and that’s fine, but Facebook doesn’t donate to local fundraising events or provide financial support to libraries, County Fairs or other cultural happenings. Nonetheless, those same people will ask local businesses for donations next year and they will receive it. We believe in community.

But if we all just paused for a moment, and took the time to run into the local hardware store instead of surfing Amazon on line we might remember how much we have in common. How much we enjoy human interaction.

If we could look down our street instead of one in Houston or Dallas for that new whatever, we may save someone’s job, make or renew a friendship, help fix a county road or just make this area a little better. A little more stable. Maybe encourage a new family to move in because they are tired of being one of the crowd and they want to live in a community that supports and takes care of it’s own. If we proved nothing else, we have proven that we take care of our own during tough times this summer.

Now it’s time to take care of our own in providing mutual prosperity.

Buy local. We must wean ourselves from the notion that a run into the city will save money.

Even the local large chains hire local, pay floor plan taxes and sales taxes.

Buy local.

The more businesses there are, the more attractive our community is for others.

Does any of this mean that we should stay off line? LOL – No! Many locals have successful Internet based businesses. That helps our local economy too! Learn from them and adapt and evolve. Just don’t evolve to the point that when you walk out your door there is nothing left to see.

Buying local is not the anchor that will keep us from being swept away; it’s the surfboard that will allow us to ride out economic chaos and any other wave of the future in style!