What Does Shop Local mean?

It’s been an interesting year. A simple idea to support the very important Shop Local  issue started for us with reposting some local Instagram business posts and giving them an extra shout out.  In the last month, we decided to see what really is the bigger picture for the smaller local business? 

When talking about the Shop Local Premise the main questions that come up is, Is it restricted by speed limit signs and roadside ‘welcome to…. ‘ signals of both entry and exit of a local town? Is a small a small village more The important than a larger town or even a city? The answer in itself is not so easy. Why?

Firstly, our individual reaction to change, sudden or gradual, whichever village, town or city we habit, can often leave us like a rabbit in the headlights of a fast rushing car. Stunned by unforeseen occurrence or blinded by distraction until you can no longer avoid the problems that you face.  

Secondly, , human nature often says, ‘ME first, I don’t care about anyone else’. And when you have mortgages to pay, debts piling up or even just simply putting food on the table, for you and your family we can understand why that may be your reaction. However it is not the solution. 

What is the point of you having a business if everyone around you looses theirs? Where does the money then come from to spend with you?  

Over the past decades, Ireland has become a country of outside the box thinkers, entrepreneurs and inventive minds. And these individuals deserve the credit they receive, as it’s innovation that brings forth creativity and future possibilities. However this cannot be at the expense of the hardworking shopkeeper who cares, not for the future, but for the day to day living of their customers. So where do we go from here.

Let’s not become insular. Let’s see the bigger picture.  When you see someone with a broken leg you can sympathise with them. However, if you have a broken leg or have broken a bone before you can truly say ‘I know how you feel’. But rather than this become a sympathy contest, we need to ask each other, especially if we are in a similar situation, what are we going to do to firstly keep moving, and then recover? 

The Bookstore in Kerry, is suffering a similar fate to the bookstore in Tullamore. The women’s boutique in Waterford has similar issues to one in Athlone….. are you getting the picture?  Rather than view these vital local businesses as competition, view them as compatriots in a war against despondency and hope. It’s time to ask, how are you getting through this, to connect and ‘raise all boats’. There may just be an idea out there that is working and gives all a bite of the somewhat smaller cherry that’s out there. But at least all get fed.

Would you not agree that it’s all about today and tomorrow now? No longer can such times as the ‘Holiday Markets’ be the focus of your income, because who knows, the sheriff might just cancel it! 

The long and the short of it is. If you just think purely of yourself, you maybe have to prepare for a short boost followed by a stunned headlights moment again.  

Our personal hopes for the future are our own, some positive some pessimistic. But for now, think of today, tomorrow and maybe next week if we are fortunate. 

For us it means a slight change of direction. We’ve decided in order to ‘raise all boats’ we need all to be on the same page. Shop Local is where all Shop local customers are, which for some is within speed limits but for others it is as far as they can reach. 

So rather than us focus on towns, we are going to focus on the bigger picture. Connect you, at least on some level, with similar local business through out the country or who knows how far. Why? Because we want to succeed as TEAM Shop Local as well as individual. 

As you serve your nicely roasted coffee today, think of another company somewhere else. What are their ideas …… maybe ask them. How are you getting on? ‘A rising tide raises all boats’.

It’s time to ride the wave together.

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