I would like to start by saying that I am an Asheville native. My family has been in Asheville for almost 80 years and my father has owned or been a partner in two businesses, one of which covered five locations and employed dozens of workers.
Unfortunately, the ‘90s brought lots of out-of-town corporate competition for our businesses and by 2004 we only had one location left for the floods to take. I say all of this to establish that I know what it means to be a former local-business owner who loves this town. We only have one chance to do this “buy local” thing right or we will regret it.
Most people seem to be doing a great job of supporting the local breweries and bars. What we seem to be missing the mark on are our daily and weekly habits that we are getting via the Internet or corporate chain stores. I mean, seriously, are we still supporting Netflix, RedBox, Blockbuster, etc., when we have excellent independent video stores? With all of the locally owned restaurants, do we need to be regularly patronizing a corporate chain during a recession? Clothing? Health food? Music stores? Outdoor gear? Farm products? We are blessed to have an abundance of local suppliers for all of these things.
I remember what it was like in the ‘70s and ‘80s to drive down Haywood Road and through downtown and see boarded-up shops and vacant buildings.
I know what it is like to close a trusted local business that people counted on for supplies and others counted on for employment. It sucks for everyone involved — so let's all avoid that. If you want to stop the corporate takeover of America, support the local guy down the street.
— Stuart Greene