Shopping near home is a must for the future of local businesses

We have addressed the issue of shopping local on a regular basis in editorials because it is essential that we keep our local small businesses alive and well. A recent survey talked about consumers starting to be a bit weary of the dominance of Internet sales putting many local businesses out of business.

The closure of MC Sports and Gander Mountain in our area are examples of retailers with a local presence that may have been put out of business in part because of online shopping. It is our understanding that Gander Mountain and MC Sports in Marquette were very successful locally, but the other markets were being impacted by online sales, which ultimately caused their closure.

As more and more small businesses are closing, people are losing the ability to go to their local stores to buy products. As the local stores close, there is a loss in local jobs for our residents. There will be less businesses to sponsor soccer, baseball, hockey and all other sporting and community events.

We need to support our local businesses! We ask that you try to find what you are looking for locally first. If you can’t find what you need locally, then you can buy online. Look to the future and think about the possibility of up to 75 percent of our local businesses going out of business in the next 10 years. We wouldn’t have much of a local shopping district left.

We understand how convenient online businesses have made it to shop with them. For the younger generation, this just looks like normal activity. They may not miss the local establishments when they go out of business because they have always done their shopping online. The older generation, however, will miss the convenience that shopping at local businesses offer. The retail businesses in our community are an important part of what makes our communities special. In a recent editorial, we talked about what a fantastic downtown that Marquette has, and a big part of that is our downtown retail businesses. We need to continue to support the downtown retail businesses and all local businesses in Marquette County and the rest of the Upper Peninsula to help keep our local economies strong.

Imagine a world where there are no local businesses. All shopping is done online, which means there is less to differentiate one community from another. We think that would make for a very boring community.

The latest area that online shopping is trying to take over is the grocery business. Think about the socialization that will be lost if you are not going to the grocery store on a regular basis, running into your neighbors and friends. We run a lot of spotlight information in our paper about the financial contributions that local grocery stores make to local organizations. What happens to that support if online business shuts down local grocery stores?

We hope that before online marketing makes local businesses obsolete, that consumers wake up to the fact that if they want local businesses to be around in the future those establishments need the support of their communities. It is very sad to see one business after another closing their doors. You can be the difference-maker between local businesses thriving or closing. Please shop locally. The impact you can have by shopping locally will be priceless to the future of local business.