JULIE STAFFORD: The local touch goes a long way

By Julie Stafford • Last Updated 10:13 pm on Friday, April 06, 2012

Julie Stafford

I haven’t always been a “buy locally” consumer. After all, those colorful, well-organized catalogs that come in the mail from big box companies are enticing. And it’s so easy to Google the products you need from the comfort of your home and find a great bargain.

But after living in Greenville for three months and working the past couple of weeks with a team of locally based businesses to remodel a house, I am fully on board to shop and do business close to home.

Perhaps it’s because we’re a small enough community that everyone knows each other. Or because many of our service providers have been working with each other or went to school with each other for a long time. Whatever the reason, the most impressive thing our local businesses have going for them is that they provide something that has been forgotten on a grander scale — customer service.

My observations aren’t just limited to the folks working on my house. It’s the flower shop on Greenville’s main street, the car dealerships west of town, the grocery store in Carson City, the furniture store in Belding. All across the board, the people running these establishments care about what their customers think and work overtime to make sure they have what consumers want.

Since moving here, I’ve heard a lot of complaints about how many of the unique businesses we’ve had in town have closed their doors and that Greenville is dying.

But I wonder how many of those who complain actually keep their dollars close to home.

Sure, it’s easy and cheap to buy a dozen tulips at Walmart and to drive to a big box store for countertops or flooring. But most of the time you can get the same deal — or better — locally and I can guarantee you’ll be much happier with the priority put on making sure you have what you need.

If more of us put our money where our mouths are, the possibilities for our corner of the world are endless.

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