Shopping with local businesses safeguards hometown economy

Oct 11, 2017 Michael V. Bailey, Riverton


Our community is saddened to see Safeway closing. Their departure from our city has a chain reaction of negative effects, not only to Riverton, but all of Fremont County. With the closure of Safeway, many good employees are going to be out work, and the citizens of Fremont County have one fewer place to shop for groceries.

Have you stopped and looked around your community? Take a moment and compare the retail businesses here in your community now versus how many there were 10 to 20 years ago. There are fewer grocery stores. pharmacies, florists, gas stations, clothing stores, shoe stores, restaurants, and the list goes on. The businesses remaining are moving toward the large corporations. The big guys keep forcing the little guys out of business.

This causes less competition, less employment, and less purchasing choice for all of us. The large businesses often take their profits and send them back to their home office, not spending them here to grow our local economy. Our local business owners understand the importance of supporting local businesses. They spend money locally, patronizing local establishments for both their business and personal shopping needs.

As a local businessman and Riverton City Council member, I urge citizens to consider the effect our local business closures have on our government. We have less funding for the services we all need, such as clean water, sewer services, law enforcement, streets, schools, parks, and snow removal.

Riverton, Fremont County, and the State of Wyoming economies are still suffering from the downturn in the energy industry. This economic downturn has caused the people in our state and communities to have less and less spending power. To even further add to this downturn, many people are using online businesses to purchase the goods they need in order to save a few dollars. This is lost revenue to our local economy.

The next time you decide to shop, consider the benefits of shopping local. Those dollars are very beneficial for our communities. Your local business owners donate to many needed services, clubs, sports, and events held in our communities. Look around at your community's next sports event, fair, charity, and/or rodeo event. These activities are sponsored in majority from your local businesses. As an example, last year Bailey Enterprises Inc. donated to over 115 local events, and already this year we have donated to over 95 organizations. Now add in the donations the many other local businesses in town. When your organization has a need, your local business owners are the ones that will support and donate.

Sponsorships are not just financial. Oftentimes your local businesses participate with their time and employees. How often have you seen the chain stores out on the baseball field coaching the local Little League team?

Please shop local for the benefits and uniqueness it provides you and our community.

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