Letters to the Editor

Local support

October 30, 2009


To the editor:

I am baffled with Lawrence. We’re reminded to “buy local,” “support local merchants.” After all, spending money within our community ensures choices, provides jobs.

After being turned down by 97 percent of the merchants I approached peddling my wares in Lawrence — as I have started a distribution business here — I wonder about the contradiction. These stores have been supported by the community and have thrived.

“We’ve been with the same company for years; we don’t want to change” is a popular response. “We’re not interested” was said even before I could talk about pricing or that I’m trying to give merchants another source, to become competition, which drives down prices. There are those who initially seemed enthusiastic but never returned my calls nor e-mails.

When I asked those two or three who gave me a chance about providing the same brand/product they carry I was told, “We don’t want to change (distributors).” One manager apologized, which was sweet.

One potential customer set an appointment with me. After dressing, grabbing my bag of samples and price sheet then driving there, I was told they signed a contract with another company. I’m scratching my head as to why I was given an opportunity when there wasn’t one.

Do I want to support stores who won’t support me? Am I burning bridges by submitting this letter? I’m thinking probably not since there were no bridges to begin with.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

How to Start a Buy Local Campaign

Many people give little consideration to the choice between a locally owned store and a chain when deciding where to shop.

They do not know the benefits to their city's economy of choosing local businesses and are unaware of the many hidden costs of opting for the big boxes.

Broadening awareness of the consequences of our shopping choices is therefore an essential strategy in turning the tide of chain retail ex- pansion and rebuilding our local economies.

Do these campaigns make a difference? Yes!

Local Business Alliances By far the most effective "buy local" campaigns are those that have been undertaken by local business alliances. These coalitions typically include hundreds of business owners and citi- zens working together to prevent the displace- ment of local stores by chains.

The strategy was pioneered by the Boulder Independent Business Alliance in 1998. Since then, similar alliances have formed in more than 60 communities.

While a few of these alliances have fought big- box projects, their emphasis is primarily positive and proactive. They focus on:


Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

Why Buy Local? http://www.localfirst.com/why

I would encourage the letter writer to keep trying.

BigPrune 8 years, 2 months ago

I wonder what the letter writer is selling and hope it's not Amway or whatever it's called the days.

ghamon 8 years, 2 months ago

Give it up Deb, not on yourself, but the city. The city of Lawrence Talks the talk, but they do not walk the walk. I once quoted a $10,000 bid and was $8.50 higher than some outfit in Wisconsin. Guess what, I lost in spite of my personal apperance before the city commission to plead my case. You are the winner only if you keep trying. Good luck.

jafs 8 years, 2 months ago

Interesting, because a recent proposal to favor local businesses in cases like yours generated quite a bit of criticism from bloggers.

GardenMomma 8 years, 2 months ago

What do you sell Deborah Miller? Is it stuff like is at the Arts Fair in South Park?

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