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Not what you buy, but where

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We need to stick together. We are part of a community. And we need to buy things, especially this holiday season.

Why not buy from each other? Seems easy enough.

During this shopping season you will hear many promotions urging you to “Shop Local.” And that’s a good idea. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

I want to make sure we don’t overlook the other local purchases you, or your company, could be making. Several years a local lift truck company was talking to me. They were lamenting that local companies were purchasing their equipment from outside our area.

Come on folks. We have at least three Greater Elkhart Chamber members that can supply a lift truck.

Why not buy from a company that is located a short drive from your company? It could be a company that might one day buy from you, too.

And when you buy from a local company, you are supporting the employees who live in your community.

Speaking of community, our local governments purchase a lot of goods and services. Governments should purchase from local companies, too. Some of our members have noted that our governments are spending too much money outside our community.

In this issue of Leading Business you will learn how to exercise the Power of Your Purchase. And that is a good guide for your purchases. Where you buy your supplies, and gifts, has an impact. You have power.

Where do you want your power to be felt? I suppose some people want to have power over their keyboard and computer. I guess I have always felt I had adequate power over my keyboard. I have nothing to prove.

However, I look around my community and I see many places that could use my help. If my purchases can have an impact, then I’m doing it.

So what constitutes a local purchase? I would refer you to our Chamber membership directory at Elkhart.org. It’s updated weekly and contains a large variety of companies that offer a large variety of products and services.

My wife is an administrator with Elkhart Community Schools. If a teacher asks her how to shop local, she tells them to shop where their students’ parents work. If you are not a teacher, think about kids in your church or neighborhood.

We are a Chamber of Commerce. Obviously, we believe in commerce. We work to ensure the flow of commerce. We advocate against onerous regulations and red tape. We educate companies on ways to improve their processes and procedures. We give companies opportunities to elevate themselves and make connections with new clients and customers.

As champions of business and the free market, we are not going to tell you to ignore price. Price comparisons are very important to our economic system. Many times you will get the best price and purchase conditions locally.

But while you are considering price during this shopping season, also consider the power of your purchase so the local companies get a fair chance.

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