Photo by Stephen Conn
After a full day scooping twigs and other gunk from the gutters, sucking leaves from neatly raked piles and sweeping acorns off the steps and driveway, I’m proud to say I didn’t have to stop at my local hardware store once.
Last year (my first fall as a homeowner), I was in there every weekend picking up rakes, bags, a leaf blower. The folks are super helpful and I feel good supporting them because they are literally my neighbors. In turn, they spend my money in and around our community.
That got me thinking about Minnesota 2020′s buy local guide. The last few weeks, our team has been working to confirm existing guide entries’ information and adding new shops. It’s these stores and eateries that make a neighborhood or community a vibrant, fun and more convenient place to live.
But there also seems to be this fraternity among many of the shop owners we’ve been talking to. Of course they can’t buy all of their supplies in Minnesota, as much of what they need isn’t produced here. However, when they can, most local store owners reach out to other Minnesota shops for their goods or supplies. One of the more common answers was, “Well it sometimes costs me a little more, but I buy local when it’s possible.”
I’m not bashing box stores – especially because one of the nation’s largest is a major Minnesota employer – they serve their purpose. But when it’s possible, before snow covers our sidewalks, take a walk around your neighborhood. See what’s there and consider putting a little cash in your neighbor’s pocket.