Support your local indies! Now that I’ve returned from the retail show and have gotten to know several booksellers, I want to spread the word that times are hard for the bookselling industry. Many indies (independent shopowners)are closing their doors due to the economy and crushing competition from mega-chain stores and online giants like Amazon.
But shopping from local, independently-owned businesses makes sense. When you shop in your local community, everyone benefits. The economy benefits because indies give back to the community. The majority of the money you spend stays in your community, which does not happen when you buy at a national chain. Local businesses create higher-paying jobs for your neighbors. More of your taxes are reinvested in your community–where they belong.
The environment benefits because shopping local means less packaging, less transportation, and a smaller carbon footprint. The entire community benefits. Indies provide the local color, character, and context that make each of our neighborhoods unique. Local retailers are your friends and neighbors. They often host or at least advertise many community events.
One of my favorite movies is “You’ve Got Mail” with its sub-plot of an indie book shop closing in New York. I especially love it since it was adapted from a 1940 Jimmy Stewart film, “The Shop Around the Corner,” that takes place in a store in Budapest’s central plaza (with the characters hand-writing letters to each other). The plight of these community shops gripped me when I first watched these films, and it still grabs me Let’s help keep our favorite indies afloat.