The Kyrene Corridor is full of interesting nooks and crannies, including many independently owned businesses that are right here giving our community character.
It seems the independents sometimes have a hard time competing in the Wal-Mart world. Yes, it does sometimes seem easier to shop at the one-stop giant that can help you check off all the items on your list in one fell swoop.
But when you think about it, what benefit does the big box bring to our community? If the big corporations start losing money, they can be quick to shut down—not just the store that isn’t performing, but any store the corporate moguls feel will help them meet their bottom line.
Helping out a neighbor during a difficult time is not part of most corporate customer-service plans.
Think about the last school fundraiser you attended. I’d guess that many of the silent-auction items or the donated door prizes were made possible through the courtesy of a local merchant.
I know that when I chaired the preschool committee that organized a holiday boutique, it was usually the little guy that gave the most.
We were the grateful recipients of donations from the small businesses that knew the value of building good community relationships. When the big chain stores were approached for donations, ofteny the answer was the same…”you need to ask our corporate office” or “our budget is spent for this year.”
In asking local owners, no matter how tough the times were, they often reached deep into their pockets to support what they knew as a worthy cause.
During this holiday season, when you’re taking the family out to dinner or meeting friends for a drink, keep in mind all the choices that are so close to home.
You can get a decent dinner at the big chain outlet on Ray Road. but if you venture a bit off the beaten path you will find the home-style Italian food at a place like Marcello’s to be so much better and you have the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a neighbor.
John Henry’s has great atmosphere if you’re looking for something more continental. If it’s live entertainment you’re seeking, there are always some talented bands playing at Jersey’s on the weekends. Or check out the new DJ at The Sign of the Whale. Not only is it a convenient and economical choice, but you will be supporting your neighbors.
When you’re buying a gift for the kids’ teachers, remember all the great shops that are right here in the neighborhood. Whether it’s Definitely Debra or Lulu’s Moonfish, they stock all kinds of unique treasures.
Remember: If we don’t support the local guy, eventually our only choice will be the big box store on the corner.
If you can find the time to check out some of our local offerings, I’m convinced you’ll be happily surprised at the selection, the quality and the value.
Certainly there are many reasons people choose to live in our area, not the least of which is the satisfaction we get from knowing our neighborhood stores and patronizing them. That community vibe has to be supported by all of us in order for it to thrive.