Think "Local First"

November 15, 2021

Helping our small businesses thrive can have a major impact on our community’s economic sustainability. Small businesses generate two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. and help keep families and neighborhoods healthy!

Let’s start asking the question: How can we keep money in our community? It begins with a “Local First” mentality. Before clicking the “Buy Online” button, pause and consider whether that purchase would bring any benefit to your community. It may seem easier to shop online and have items delivered right to your door. However, in the long run, the escalation of online shopping is leading to the decline of main street businesses, causing a loss of character for the towns we call home. Here are six steps for keeping the money right here:

1. Shop small businesses – Whenever possible, think Local First. More of your dollars will be recirculated back into our community when you shop small. Plus, these family-owned businesses are more likely to contribute to donation requests, whether it be monetarily, through in-kind gifts, or by volunteering.

2. Patronize locally-owned restaurants – The supply chain from these eateries is likely closer to our community. Which means when you eat locally, you may be supporting local farmers too.

3. Recommend local services – From auto repair to medical care, Marinette, Menominee, and Oconto Counties have so much to offer. Local First is about more than retail shopping; it’s about supporting business owners of all types.

4. Keep your money local – By depositing your money in a local financial, you are guaranteeing the vitality of your community. Local banks use the money you deposit to help fund loans to your neighbors for homes and businesses. Big box banks, on the other hand, take deposits and lend them elsewhere in the country or invest them in ways that have no direct impact on our community.

5. Participate in local events – Aside from the gorgeous landscapes and plethora of outdoor activities, there are almost always events organized by our many businesses and service clubs. Participating in them allows you to give back, while having a good time. Many are even free!

6. Be a tourist right here – Discover the hidden gems our area has to offer. There are countless beautiful attractions, museums, and recreational activities you may have taken for granted by living here. Sometimes when you’re too close to something, you overlook it. Step back and look through the eyes of a tourist and you’ll discover even more positive attributes.

Spread this message where you can: We’re in this together! We can all make small changes to think "Local First".