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Shop Small and Notice Big Difference

One of the followers of this Specialty Shops column shared an article with us recently.  A few weeks ago a writer, David Porter, Ramblin’ Man, made some very good points in this article he wrote.  His article was titled, “Shopping small is a big deal.”  He was commenting that he should just quit shopping at the BIG market stores as he was frustrated with the long lines with only three registers open while employees stood around and didn’t open more registers.

Mr. Porter likes to shop in locally-owned retail stores and dine at unique, locally-owned restaurants.  He enjoys having a conversation with a third generation shop owner whose eyes show disappointment if he/she cannot answer a question or provide a certain product… instead of talking to an employee who hates their job and has no appreciation for the community and its history and whose eyes say he/she doesn’t care.

“(Society’s) consumerism has supported the big box model – more selection, cheaper prices.  As a result, many small town business districts have been decimated.  As stores close, the character of the small community changes…” Mr. Porter says.

But, the BIG Marts are not always better or cheaper… He goes on to say that before Christmas he bought a holiday light display at a local shop and learned that the BIG Mart had those for $15 cheaper.  His brother liked the display so much that he bought one, and after setting it up, called Mr. Porter to ask how he got his lights to change colors.  Turns out, his brother’s didn’t have the color changing option.  He bought it at the BIG Mart.  Saved $15.

“It is good, once in a while, to have these little disappointments from the BIG Mart store to remind myself of the economic and psychologic benefits of local ownership,” Mr. Porter concludes.

“It is refreshing to read articles like this!” says Bobbi McKeon, owner of Heart’s Desire and coordinator of the Specialty Shops Group. “As Mr. Porter commented, shopping at the small shops helps the entire community.  Between all the local shops, you can find so many things – often at great value – without having to leave town!”

“We would like to thank the follower of our column for sharing this article with us, and we encourage anyone to share any noteworthy tidbits of interest that might be enlightening to our community as a whole!” concludes Bobbi.

As always, if you have any stories, ideas or suggestions for interesting topics about our community, please stop by Heart’s Desire, call Bobbi McKeon at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com.