It would appear that the Louisville Independent Business Alliance’s “Why Buy Local?” forum Sunday was a success. The senior editor was too ill to attend, but here’s the link to Courier-Journal coverage, with a selected excerpt.
'Buy local' wins backers; Louisville alliance launches campaign, by Laura Ungar.
Speaker Stacy Mitchell of Portland, Maine, senior researcher at the Institute for Self Reliance and author of "Big Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America's Independent Businesses," put the issue into a national context.
She said America has lost 400,000 independent retailers in the past 10 years. In the grocery sector, for example, the top five companies received $1 of every $4 Americans spent on groceries in 1998, compared with $1 of every $2 today. Wal-Mart stores alone, Mitchell said, capture $1 of every $10 Americans spend on goods.
"Every category is dominated by a couple of chains," she said. "We've gone too far in one direction. We need to think about rebuilding our communities and rebuilding local businesses."
Earlier in the article, Ear X-Tacy’s John Timmons makes an absolutely essential observation about the task for small businesses:
"I can't compete on price. I can't even try to do that anymore," he said. Instead, he said, he fights back with service, expertise and selection.
Yes. Yes. And, yes.
Meanwhile, at-large councilman John Gonder takes a circuitous route to the same general vicinity in his most recent blog posting, We Should Be So Lucky.
We can't shop our way out of a jam. We won't move civilization closer to perfection by leaving our problems to the ingenuity of future generations to solve, as many are trying to do now with property taxes, climate change and the growing subservience of individuals to corporate interests.
Literacy and thoughtfulness in an elected official? Unfortunately, John may come to regret attribution here in Anonymous Rights Land.
By the way, a belated happy birthday to John’s mom!