ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ABBY RANDALL COLUMN: Shopping local supports small businesses and our community

All small businesses across the nation are tirelessly working to recover post-pandemic, unfortunately, many are not out of the woods just yet. The pandemic brought many more trials and tribulations in its wake that may not be evident in plain sight.

062922.OP.BP.CHAMBERCOLUMN
We are part of The Trust Project.

With many businesses approaching the end of the second quarter, a sense of normalcy is coming back with social behaviors in our Bemidji community.

Post-pandemic life is starting to feel real with many of us feeling more comfortable attending in-person events, shaking hands and doing business. We learned a lot during our “new normal” living within a global pandemic, but it’s our hope that one thing stuck and stuck for good: supporting local businesses.

We rallied community members at the top of the pandemic to keep our local establishments up and running with a Bemidji Strong campaign and the community came through. Now more than ever, our businesses need us to continue to stand by their sides as they regain what was lost.

All small businesses across the nation are tirelessly working to recover post-pandemic, unfortunately, many are not out of the woods just yet. The pandemic brought many more trials and tribulations in its wake that may not be evident in plain sight.

For one thing, our national supply chain is still down and struggling to bounce back. Rising costs and constraints of production are slowing down manufacturing across the region. The war in Ukraine and broader inflationary pressures only create further uncertainty.

ADVERTISEMENT

Another issue for many small businesses is the lingering effects of workforce shortage. We recently polled our local Bemidji Area Chamber membership, and 67% reported that filling open positions remains a struggle.

If you’re following the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce on our social media pages, you may have noticed one of our posts featuring the hashtag #LoveLocal. It’s one of the small ways we’re encouraging Bemidjians to shop local as our business community continues to rebound after the pandemic.

Shopping local not only supports our businesses directly but is also an investment into our entire community as a whole. Pioneer readers and the community are welcome to join us in our #LoveLocal campaign when you’re shopping small in town.

So why does supporting local businesses matter? It matters because we can do our part. It is known that when local businesses are thriving they are much more likely to do the following:

  • Hire more employees and pay higher wages and benefits.
  • Thriving businesses support our local youth sports teams and parent-teacher associations.
  • Our business community sponsors many important events and gives back to our nonprofits so that they can carry their mission forward to help fulfill community needs.
  • A healthy and thriving business expands and grows to offer new and exciting products and service lines. Being healthy allows them to turn their dreams into reality.
  • Lastly, our local businesses pay additional tax dollars that help fund community needs within our city like police, fire, infrastructure and parks.

Our local Bemidji businesses have so much to offer our community. Show your support to local owners and in turn, you are supporting your neighbors, our youth and our community.
Join us to #LoveLocal by starting small and doing what you can to share and support our local businesses.

Abby Randall is the executive director of the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce.

What to read next
"An indoor harvest meal reminded me, in this season, I feel the luckiest."
"Canadian Pacific Railway wants to merge with the Kansas City Southern Railway, and that means more oil-filled trains and dangerous freight ... What if trains moved people and not dirty oil? The U.S. has the least developed passenger train system of any first world country. That’s a shame."
For us to continue to ensure a successful community here in Bemidji, we have to resist the temptation to just discuss, argue, spin and do nothing. There is simply too much long-range risk in comfortable inaction.
Some people claim the devil himself visited the tiny town of Villisca, Iowa, that summer night in 1912, when 8 people were killed by an ax murderer. Others say he already lived among them. After more than a century of idle gossip and speculation, some amateur sleuths might have just figured it out.