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Publisher’s Perspective July 10, 2008

Shop locally

    Back in May this year, Mary Jean Fowler of La Veta came up with the great idea of showing people just how ‘far’ their money could go in La Veta.  She placed 100 gold dollar coins with various merchants around town, to hand them out as change to customers, with the instructions of “spend it in La Veta.”  Last week I was shopping in Charlie′s, and I asked the clerk if any of those gold dollars were still floating around.  “Oh yeah, quite a few,” she said.  Almost two months later, those coins are still recirculating in the local economy.  Now that’s purchasing power.

    This is a great example showing that when money is spent locally, it tends to stay within our communities, and continues to work for a long time to strengthen our local economy.  Economists use the term ‘multiplier effect’ to describe how money spent in a given local economy keeps getting passed around. 

    For example, we pay Larry ten whole dollars, and let’s say he spends two of it paying his Walsenburg utility bills, four of it buying groceries at Safeway, two more getting gas at Loaf & Jug, and socks the last two away, ‘cause he’s a smart guy.  The eight dollars he spent locally are used to pay the employees of those businesses, who in turn spend their paychecks buying food, gas and services locally, where those dollars are again re-spent to other employees, and so on, at least in a perfect world.  If Larry keeps spending 50 to 80 percent of his money locally, each $100 he spends will be worth $200 to $500 to the local economy.  Spending your money locally can help your town and your county survive and thrive during this economic downturn, by supporting your friends and neighbors.  Or, you can spend your money farther away (which of course we all must do at some level), but that money doesn’t come back; it just disappears into some other economy.

    There’s also the economic incentive of not dropping all your money into the gas tank to make that hundred mile plus round trip to Pueblo for a sack of groceries.  Gas prices, as of today, are $3.99 a gallon, and we have some of the cheapest gas prices around.  On average, it’ll cost you around 20 bucks just to get there and back before you’ve spent another dime.  It certainly makes sense to keep your grocery shopping around here, with Safeway, Charlie’s, Papa Joe’s General Store, Valley Market, and Ringo’s all within 25 miles, offering great products and great sale prices. 

    So, that’s our schtik.  The Journal is Walsenburg’s local newspaper, and we work hard to support our local businesses.  Let’s all do our part- shop locally and support our area.                                 Brian and Gretchen

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