Buy Local Means Buying from Local People

A couple weeks ago, I saw a presentation on a Bay Area city's "Buy Local" campaign. They've worked hard and put together some nice materials for their program. Perhaps it works for the unique outlook that their city has, but I could never support such a campaign here. According to their criteria, many of our Clovis Chamber members would be excluded.

People who live, work, breathe, eat, and sleep Clovis would be left out of their program because they are an independent agent of a nationwide company. Or because the business owner lives outside the city limits. Or because they are part of a national chain.

But these are still people who live here, who join the Chamber, and who show up to get face to face with their customers. They've put themselves out into the community because they care about the people they live next to and work with.

How could we have a program that says "Sorry, but I'm going to tell people to not buy from you." Of course, the campaign creators in the Bay Area town have said they're not telling people to not shop at certain stores, but the undercurrent is there. They are defining "us" and "them" and telling you to not do business with "them."

Personally, I'll keep doing business with the people who live and work here. With the people who tell me - by their action of showing up and looking me in the eye - that they want and appreciate my business. I hope you do, too.

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