Over the past month or so there have been a few businesses in the Valley that have had to close their doors for good. Everything in this Valley is connected and when a local retailer goes dark, we all lose.
Local ‘B2B’ relationships and support services go unused. Valley insurance, financial or legal businesses won’t be called on for advice. The I.T. computer experts that many of us depend on will get one less desperate phone call or e-mail for tech issues.
Contractors, electricians, plumbers and handymen’s calendars become just a bit less busy. Rent goes late or unpaid. Buildings languish empty.
Nearby businesses get less passer-by and walk-in traffic. A few less seats will be taken at our local restaurants during the lunch hour.
When a business goes dark, our school district and our towns get less tax revenue. Non-profits and community service, arts or athletic groups receive less sponsorships and donations.
When out-of-work neighbors are scrambling to look for a job in Issaquah, Bellevue or Seattle, they are harder pressed to contribute to the community or serve on non-profit boards and chamber committees or to coach a youth soccer team.
Locally owned small businesses give our individual downtowns character and diversity. They also are what makes the downtowns unique. Valley businesses carry a higher percentage of locally produced goods than most national chain stores. This means jobs or income for our entrepreneurial and creative friends and neighbors.
Most importantly, when a business goes dark, Valley families also lose their livelihood. Scrambling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, hard-pressed families buy less local products. Charity services are taxed even further. Our kids also suffer. Instead of Valley parents and care-givers working just 10 minutes from home and schools, they now have to commute from Bellevue or Seattle or beyond.
For small businesses, every single penny counts. In Snoqualmie Valley, we have a great diversity of businesses, products and services available.
I urge you to take that 35 minutes you may have spent traveling to and from the ‘big box’ stores in Issaquah or Redmond or Bellevue and take a fresh new look at what the dynamic business community in your own back yard has to offer.
Talk to your friends and neighbors about where they go locally to buy items or services. Revisit that cool store around the corner. Pick up a copy of Friday’s Valley Record or surf our 24/7 website and see what products our loyal retail advertising partners have to offer. Most of you have a copy of the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Community Guide and Directory. Use it!
We’re all in this together. Think, act and shop locally. You’ll be glad you did, and so will we all.