A close friend of mine shared this lasting parallel, ‘staying home is like giving blood.’ That really hit home. It’s being a good steward for the community, a small act with a big impact. So too is Buying Local, in my view, it’s like giving blood. Over the past six or seven weeks, my observation is that as our economy increasingly suffers, buying local is foundational to our state’s circulatory system, it is giving blood to our health and recovery.
As many small businesses in Colorado are suffering acute pain, some businesses may find themselves in a position of choice to buy new products or services, or to hire new people. With the grip of uncertainty ahead, those in a position to buy should make a conscious, concerted effort to partner with the localized businesses where they operate whenever possible. Our software, science, and services in Colorado, for instance, are absolutely world class. I believe we need a pledge, a call to action, a ‘movement’ that affirms and promotes at the very least, a commitment to always have a Colorado choice as a finalist in your buying decisions. This should be innate to every state; not a mandate, but a local motion to provide energy and awareness to the significant effects of spending locally. And here, I know Colorado’s DNA is built for supporting each other.
Our ecosystem is built on rising to the occasion. I know I speak for nearly all my fellow Colorado business owners when saying that if not for our local peers, those who guided us, connected us, picked us up when we were down (even our competitors), we would not be where we are at today. Many of these same businesses will not be here tomorrow if we do not implement a widespread campaign to look within. Not to close the doors on what’s outside, but to truly look inside. We have incredible companies here that compete with the best of the best from around the world. A rising tide can lift the small boats in The Centennial State.
We needn’t look far back in history to see how localized partners have shown their mettle. In just these past few weeks, small businesses, including mine, were left scrambling for SBA loan support with the PPP program, when they needed help most from their big banks. As it turns out, it was the small, community banks who stepped up, opened their doors, and provided the service, solace and execution to see these loans through. Turning my choice to a local bank had an exponentially positive effect, and already, the virtuous circle with this new relationship is bearing fruit.
How Do We Shift Towards Local?
As a nineteen year old company, this experience has called for a deep reexamination of who we actively choose to partner with as a means to support our local economy. Imagine if a majority of companies based here or doing business here, put significant energy into a buy local movement? Ultimately, the products we buy, partners we choose, banks we bank with, and vendors we work with will have a trickle-down effect to their employees, their families, local taxes, and that virtuous circle we all covet. If we all made an intentional effort to invest in local products with our decisions, the results could be astounding.
Am I alone on this? I hope not! This could and should be a real movement that our community embraces, that I can join, that you can join, and just like giving blood, is something we can do with real conviction and lasting enthusiasm knowing our decisions brings an exponential impact.
More to come...
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