Look Local First

David Ross Head ShotBefore making our next purchase, this is an ideal time for each of us to ponder the importance of purchasing products and services from local businesses. Doing so will contribute to what will be sustenance for our local businesses.
For those of you who already make purchasing from local businesses a priority, I admire and appreciate you. You are the rock on which our business community stands. Thank you for supporting our local employers.
It would be presumptive, and admonishing, to simply implore those who choose to do differently to “buy local.” I have witnessed too many buy-local campaigns that solely place the responsibility for these transactions on the purchaser.
I have a different request. I am asking you: Please do not assume the product or service you seek is not available locally at an attractive price and in a compelling manner. Before you make your purchase, look local first. Please give our local businesses an opportunity to impress you with their service and products. You will be delighted by the goods and services you may not have realized are available in our hometown.
Our local businesses cannot dictate where consumers spend their money. They can, however, proactively influence our purchasing by making their products and services known to us in remarkable and memorable ways. Increasing the amount of local purchasing is a shared responsibility that engages both purchasers and businesses.
The chamber is partnering with businesses to make it easier for us to purchase supplies and services in the Duluth area. We provide assistance to area businesses while they strive to increase their visibility and viability. We connect them with resources that can facilitate the enhancement of their local profiles. We encourage our 1,026 members to do more local business-to-business purchasing. We make available to our community a business directory that presents a comprehensive listing of member businesses. This directory is available at duluthchamber.com. These are examples of our collaborative effort to attract customers who otherwise might do their purchasing from outside of our Zenith City.
Consider how fortifying it would be for our community if the majority of our local businesses purchased its supplies and services primarily from other local businesses. Imagine the additional positive impact of our local government entities looking local first when seeking services and products.
Our local businesses are stepping up to serve you during this coronavirus challenge. They are creatively and ambitiously finding ways to make themselves available to you and beneficial to you.
These businesses deserve our thoughtful consideration when we contemplate our next purchases. Looking local first will enable more of them to remain available to us during these difficult times. After all, they bring employment, investment, arts and entertainment, convenience, and prosperity to our port city. They make our community a better place in which to live and work.
Collectively, we can make a profound, positive impact within the place we live and work — if we look local first.
In unwavering support,
David Ross