Building a Vibrant Community – Shopping Local
Several task forces along with many organizations are working to build a vibrant Elkins community. This article is about shopping local.
A walk thought the woods is always a unique experience. There is the squirrel that scampers away, the mushroom that grew overnight, the sunlight peeking through holes in the leaves. Although the woods seem the same; they are constantly changing.
The same can be said of historical downtown Elkins. Downtown has a charm, personality and unique character that is not present in big box stores. While the structure of the downtown may seem the same, it is constantly changing.
There are many reasons to shop downtown. As far as convenience, the walking distance in Elkins between hardware, donuts, honey, dog treats, sewing supplies, banking, restaurants, arts and hair salons is just as close as walking to similar departments in a large store. Plus, there is a friendly face greeting you at each location along with the expertise to find just the right product.
Downtown has free parking close to your destination. Just because a downtown store cannot be seen from your parking space, does not mean it is far away. Next time you go to a shopping center, count the number of steps from your car through the store to where you actually start shopping. Remember that after walking through the front door of a big box store you are still several steps away from when you start shopping.
Shopping downtown is an experience. The walls, ceilings and floors are unique. Each store has its own personality – shaped by the local owner and the structure of the historical building. Tourists travel to historic downtown just for the experience. Why not take advantage of our downtown.
Shopping local supports small business owners. The local business owners are our friends and neighbors who provide jobs for others, support local charities and make our community a better place. Profits from their businesses do not go to stockholders or to corporate headquarters located in another community. Local businesses are the key to a vibrant community.
What does shopping local mean? What if everyone spent 10% or 10 cents of every shopping dollar at a local business? While this seems small — the impact on the community would be tremendous. No one is implying that every dollar must be spent locally– just try to make a conscience effort to support local businesses. That is the challenge — spend 10% at local businesses and see the impact you will make..
Building a vibrant community takes everyone. Rediscover downtown Elkins. Just like a walk in the woods, there is always something new to see.
This article follows the concepts outline in a book entitled “Building a Vibrant Community” written by Quint Studer. Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber has free copies of the book available to those who are interested.