Fillmore County Journal
I know many of our readers have heard me talking about buying local. “Shop local!” You’ve heard it from me plenty of times.
But, there’s something more to consider when shopping local for products and services.
I have had some conversations with many business owners over the years, and a common theme keeps coming up.
So many business owners in our small towns are reluctant to increase the prices for their products and services, even to the detriment of their own financial well-being.
In other words, while their expenses are increasing year after year, they have been keeping their prices the same.
As a matter of fact, while making purchases in our area, I have told some business owners they need to increase their prices.
Why would I want to pay more, you may ask?
Because I want these businesses to not only survive, but thrive.
Think about all of the places where you spend money. The hair salon, restaurant, plumber, electrician, auto repair shop, hardware store.
Their expenses are increasing in every regard, especially with inflation weakening the American dollar day by day. They are paying more for insurance, taxes, repairs and maintenance on their building, the products they buy, and their labor. All of it. All expenses are increasing.
As I’ve talked to many restaurant owners, they tend to hold off on increasing their menu prices for years. They often wait too long, all the while absorbing increased costs on the ingredients. And the funny thing is that they have tourists from big cities come to the area and they are shocked at how lowly priced everything is in our area. We are actually spoiled, but we may not realize it or appreciate it. The expenses are going up every year, and therefore the prices they charge to customers should be going up every year.
But, then you have some locals complain that their hometown restaurant is too expensive, and that makes the business owner hold off on increasing their prices.
Here’s the reality of this entire situation.
Let’s say that a business owner holds off on increasing their prices in order to make people happy. Meanwhile, their expenses keep climbing. At some point, that business owner needs to weigh whether it is worth it for them to keep managing the challenges of operating and owning a business, or take a job in the big city and not have to worry about all of the headaches and stress they may endure with business ownership.
I’d rather see our local business owners increase their prices for products and services, and be profitable enough that they feel valued by the community. They shouldn’t feel guilty about trying to make a living. And, increasing the prices of their products and services also makes it possible for them to increase employee wages, keep up with building maintenance, and keep their business moving forward.
Take away all of your favorite businesses in the area that make your life better, and what do you have? Empty storefronts. You’ll be driving to the big city for everything. And, you’ll probably pay more and won’t receive the same personalized service. Plus, there’s the convenience factor.
To our area beauticians, restaurant owners, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, hardware stores, and many more, please don’t hesitate to increase the prices of your products or services. You deserve it. You’re worth it. And, we’re lucky that you are taking a chance on us – your community.
We want you to stay in business, and we want your business to thrive.
When you thrive, you reinvest in your business, your employees, and your community.
And, we shouldn’t complain about paying more. We should feel elated that you are taking a chance on us by providing products and services in our small town.