It's vital to shop at home

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Everywhere you look in the news economists are saying the immediate financial future is bleak. The government is handing out billions of dollars to large corporations who are in trouble. Citibank received a $45 billion bailout, but recently got a scolding call from the White House when the Obama administration heard the group ordered a $50 million private jet with some of their bailout money. Oops.

When the economic crisis really hits home, though, is when you drive down Main Street and see businesses in trouble. I was near the mall in Jonesboro yesterday and saw people standing in the freezing rain with signs announcing the closing and liquidation of Circuit City and Goody's. Those are big companies! So, what about our local businesses right here in Poinsett County?

Well, there's good news and with that good news comes opportunity. Many of our local businesses may be feeling the pressure of the hard economic times, but they are still going strong. In this week's edition you'll find a section called "Hometown Business," and it celebrates some of those businesses who are the lifeblood of not only our newspaper but our community.

So, what's the opportunity? If you want to see your hometown survive, then you must shop at home. You have to support those mom and pop stores. Yes, their prices may not be as cheap as Sam's Wholesale, but at the end of the day your hometown businesses are the ones who are giving back to your town. They are the source of important jobs and sales tax, the city's way of funding important services like police and fire protection.

Shop your local drug stores and flower shops for unique gift ideas. It might surprise you to find they have things that are even better than you can find in Jonesboro. And, I guarantee you'll get great service from people who are literally your neighbors.

The government isn't going to show up in Poinsett County to hand out bailouts to our local stores here. It's up to us to make sure we protect them, so make sure you shop at home!