Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Support Small Businesses

Lorna Barrett writes the Booktown Mystery Series. Her latest novel, Bookmarked for Death, has just been released by Berkley Prime Crime and is available in most chain and independent bookstores. (And if not--can be ordered!) Lorna also writes mysteries under the name L.L. Bartlett.

The economy is in the toilet. There’s no denying that. Budgets have been stretched to the limit as corporations continue the unemployment bloodletting. Just Monday the Macy’s department store chain announced job cuts of 7,000.

Worse, hundreds--and likely thousands--of small businesses have already closed and many more will close before the US economic crisis evaporates and we can all go back to business as usual.

The truth is, many more people are employed by little Mom and Pop establishments than all the Fortune 500 companies.

My Booktown Mystery series features a little village in New Hampshire that was brought back to life by inviting used, out-of-print, and antiquarian booksellers, each based on a particular subject or genre. Haven’t Got A Clue is the mystery bookstore at the heart of these stories.

But small bookstores, gourmet markets and specialty stores are in peril if all you want in the way of choice is Wal-Mart. I admit, often they are the cheapest choice--but don’t always offer the best quality. (Read the labels -- why does fresh meat need additives anyway?)

Okay, small (Mom and Pop) businesses can’t pass on the savings that a conglomerate can--but more often than not, the little guy can give you superior customers service, as well as better quality products. Because they are small, they can’t buy products in the quantity (and lowest price) as a global mogul.

When you can, please buy local. Support your hometown businesses; you’ll keep the local economy going, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re keeping your neighbors in jobs. Please support your local booksellers, coffee shops, non-franchise restaurants, delis, pizza parlors, bakeries, etc. Otherwise you may find that cheap, while fitting your budget, does nothing for your soul.


Krista said...

Buying local means buying fresher food, too. We're lucky that we have fruits and veggies from South and Central America this time of year, but I still don't understand why so much meat and fish comes from the other side of the world. I know it was a pain for grocery stores to mark everything with the country of origin, but I'm very glad to know where our food comes from.

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