Everybody wants a thriving community to be proud of, but are they prepared for the commitment it takes to make one? Just like building up great relationships, careers, or true passions, the grass is greener where you water it - not on the other side. Supporting local means caring for your town by building up the local economy. There’s a significantly greater amount of money that stays in the community when choosing locally owned over nationally owned businesses. These small businesses are someone else's big dreams and are what make areas like ours unique, vibrant, and full of life. Small town America doesn’t have to be lifeless and boring. A great community is about motivation, not location. It takes a village, literally, but by working together it can be an endless wheel of success for the community that only stops if we, the people, let it. You can support local by choosing to shop at and utilize stores and services that will reward your patronage by contributing to the vitality and growth of the community. Inevitably, there is always going to be something you can’t get anywhere else, so, by all means, don’t do without. But when it comes to something you can get from a local merchant, you can re-frame satisfying your need from being a mere purchase to being an investment. You are investing in the vitality of a local store, which in turn, might inspire another small business to open. You are investing in a business that will sponsor local sports teams and events. You are investing in people who will take their profits and donate to local causes, shop at other local businesses, and contribute more to local taxes instead of padding the finances of faraway company owners and shareholders.
One of the easiest keys to small town success is the deceptively simple idea of ‘supporting local’. When you give your hard-earned dollars to local businesses, you are investing in the livelihood of businesses that were started by your fellow residents of Rochester- your friends, your neighbors, and even your family. Their success enables and inspires them to reinvest in the community, shop at other small businesses, participate in civic organizations and causes, and become a source of employment for others. It also means that the bulk of the taxes from the transactions will stay local, feeding back into the infrastructure and basic services that keep Rochester running. Beyond shopping, you can ‘support local’ by being a patron. A patron is somebody that supports not only businesses, but organizations, causes, and activities that contribute to the health of the community. And support doesn’t just mean money; volunteer, attend events, encourage and participate in the arts (visual arts, music, etc.), donate goods and services when you can, and promote all of the above by helping to spread the word.