It is the community’s responsibility to take care of the community. Most of us live, work, shop and play here.

So what can we do to keep our community healthy and sustainable?

The most effective action in which we can all partake is shopping locally.

Food, appliances, hardware, gifts, clothing, just about everything we need may be found in our nearby communities.

Sometimes items may cost a little more, but don’t forget that we save nearly $4 a gallon in gas and wear and tear on a vehicle, and possibly the cost of a meal, when staying in town.

But the biggest savings come when shopping revenue stays within the community. That money may help create more jobs in town or increase salaries or benefits for current employees, who may then have a positive impact on the community’s economy as well.

Independent area businesses also pay local, county and state taxes, keeping the tax flow community-based. These taxes raise revenue for our schools, our parks and many services.

Shopping at independent local businesses also helps these businesses strengthen the community’s overall health, as they are often the largest contributors to local charities. And when we support our local charities, everyone benefits.

While shoppers must do their part to support independent local businesses, so must those businesses.

Unless community members know exactly what products local businesses have available, shoppers are often unlikely to take the time to wander around town looking for an item if they know they can purchase it out of town in a hurry.
So businesses must shoulder the responsibility of getting that information out to the public.

Remember, there is a constant flow of people who will be moving into our communities who don’t know what your mom-and-pop shop has available for them.

Actually, many community members don’t know what is sold at all the little shops in our communities. That’s where Let’s! can be most useful to local business owners. All one needs to do is verify they are correctly listed in the community directory, in the proper business category, and their description of services and goods offered is clearly stated for the small town resident that is looking for those goods and services.

We can all make a difference. And as the weather warms up, now is a great time to start. We will soon be launching the multitude of Stamford Neighborhood directories that will serve our small communities of this city of Stamford, and we call on all our small businesses in the area to visit the resource directory and verify their listing, or register their business if they do not see it listed already.

Independent businesses can bring citizens together and nurture local causes. Local ownership means that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

Shoppers can raise revenue for our basic community needs and create a healthy local economy while purchasing necessary items or holiday gifts.

Remember, every dollar that a community member spends outside the community diminishes the economic health of the community.

Again, it is the community’s responsibility to take care of itself. Who else is going to do it?