Lately, I’ve been looking around and trying to support more local businesses. Michigan has been struggling more so than the rest of the country for a long time. The recession started here a couple of years before most other areas in the country, and our unemployment rate has been the highest in the country for quite a few months running, it seems.
With that in mind, I’ve been trying to support more local businesses. Here are a few ways that I’ve been trying to support the Michigan economy:
- Shopping at local hardware stores – Normally when I needed something home-improvement wise, I’d just hop in the car and end up at Home Depot or Lowes. Lately, though, I’ve been trying so shop at the local Ace Hardware or True Value hardware store. They’re owned by local residents, and I think that does more to support local entrepreneurs than does shopping at the big box stores.
- Shopping at the Michigan based grocery chain – Meijer is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and we do most of our shopping here. We have been doing so for a few years now, but we’ve made it a point to buy whatever we can at Meijer before reverting to Kroger or Wal-Mart.
- Buying products made in Michigan – I’ve been buying Meijer brand soda for quite some time, but lately I’ve switched to Faygo, which is bottled and headquartered in Detroit. Meijer brand may actually be bottled here as well, but I can’t be completely sure, so I’ve switched to the one I know for sure is Michigan based while I do some research. Also, when we buy potato chips (which is pretty rare), I make sure we buy Better Maid, which is manufactured and headquartered in Detroit.
- We will also be buying our flowers with a smaller Michigan-based store. We had often purchased our annuals at one of the big box stores, but we’ll be making sure to purchase from retailers that grow their products here, and whose headquarters is here.
- Driving our GM cars – Even though our cars are six years and three years old, they are both GM cars, we still drive them proudly. The cars themselves may have been built or had components built elsewhere, but our purchase still supported the engineers, design teams, finance teams and all the other local workers who work for GM that call the Detroit area home.
I know that there are other ways to support the local economy and that these things may be mere drops in the bucket, but one thing I’ve learned is that those drops can add up.
What are you doing to support your local economy?