Opinion

Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse--Economic development starts with buying local

The Door County Economic Development Corporation, despite inappropriate side-taking in the past, is fortunate to be led by an accomplished professional executive director, Jim Schuessler.  His efforts to identify the pervasive shortage of affordable housing, recognizing its relationship to job creation, make Schuessler effective and respected.

 

That said, more local jobs can be created and retained if people bought what they could in Door County rather than on-line, out-of-town and from big box stores.  The problem that threatens more business today than any other is attracting employees.  Local business and industry could afford to pay more competitive wages if more local business was done here rather than on-line and out-of-town.

 

More children and grandchildren could find employment opportunities in Door County if more of their parents and grandparents did more of their shopping locally rather than on-line and out-of-town.  And more jobs could be created in Door County, not in light industry, tourism, shipbuilding and agriculture, but in retail businesses, if local residents did more business with friends and neighbors rather than on-line and out-of-town.  You cannot have local job growth when local residents fail to support local businesses.  

 

Statistics speak to the outflow of significant revenue that could be creating local jobs.  When 73 cents out of every dollar spent by Door County residents on clothing are spent outside of Door County that means fewer local jobs in the retail clothing economy.  When 70 cents out of every dollar spent by Door County residents on furniture are spent outside of Door County that means fewer local jobs in the retail furniture economy. 

 

Before you make a purchase at a big box store, on-line or out-of-town consider what that means to local employment opportunity.


Jim Schuessler and the DCEDC are working to bring more business to Door County.  Yet, you can create more jobs than the DCEDC will be able to do in years simply by focusing your purchases on where they can do the most good.  That’s right here by buying local in Door County.

 

Buying local does not only impact employment opportunity for people who need a job.  It also impacts the non-profit, civic and service organizations, churches and schools who depend on the generosity of locally-owned businesses.  Few Door County non-profits are funded by on-line retailers or out-of-town businesses and big box stores.

 

That’s my opinion.  I’d like to hear yours.

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