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Your Board

Hi, I'm Your Board

Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. Outpost's Board of Directors. From left...
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Your Board

Doing More to Support Local

Sounding Board
Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. By Your Board on April 26, 2013

 

I am in the middle of a modest household project. Inevitably, when head off to the hardware store to get some parts, I find myself in a conundrum of sorts.  
 
Do I patronize the locally owned hardware store?  
 
Or do I head off to the big box store?
 
The big box store is probably a little closer and a little cheaper. But I am on the Outpost Board, for crying out loud. I know the benefits of shopping locally.
 
At times like this, I have to pause and remind myself that one of Outpost’s signature objectives is to support local commerce generally and local proprietors specifically. We achieve this in a number of ways including providing a venue for them to sell their products in our stores as well as providing education, support and assistance in managing and growing their business. Another way we accomplish this is by providing Outpost owners and residents of southeastern Wisconsin with increased access to, and education about, locally-grown and locally-produced food, and to support the local economy by increasing the market share that local food producers have. 
 
I also remind myself of the obvious benefits of acting locally and the self-fulfilling prophecy it creates since supporting local commerce puts significant money back into the local economy.
 
After talking some sense into myself, I make my choice. I take a left and head off to visit the folks a my local hardware store.
 
It seems like such a simple thing, and it really is -- but experiences like this bear important lessons. Situations like this make me think more actively and consciously about my buying choices. I know I help support local commerce by shopping at Outpost. But I need to apply the same philosophy to all my buying habits. For example,
 
  • Support my local coffee shops instead of a national chain
  • Buy the “Game of Thrones” series my son is asking for from a local bookstore, like Boswell's, rather than on Amazon
  • Buy the next birthday present for the party my daughter is going to from the local variety store, like Winkie’s, instead of the national chain toy store
  • Buy my next dress shirt and tie from a local haberdasher, such as Harleys, instead of a national men’s store
 
This experience also made me curious about others’ thoughts regarding how all of us can better support local commerce. 
 
So, I'd like to know your opinion. As Outpost owners, how can we be more proactive and supportive of the local economy?  And how can we get others to join the movement?
 
 
Peter Hammond
Board of Directors

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