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Shop Local

So Staples has announced they will not be supporting Brown County after December of this year. Should we really be supporting them anway? In these days of world-wide connectivity, “shop local” seems to be taking on a whole new meaning for a lot of people. On the few occasions I’ve ventured into Staples, I don’t really feel like shopping there is “shopping local. I’ve always been a big fan of shopping locally and only patronize the national chains if there are no affordable local options. I make it a practice to start shopping locally first and if I can’t find it here I move out to the county level and then to the state level, and even out to the overseas level if there are no affordable options in the USA.

Staples still wants your support though as they’re keeping their store open through Christmas hoping to take as much out of Brown County as possible. Do you guys remember that you have a wonderful little home owned office supply store in downtown Brownwood that has served “shop local” customers in our area for over 100 years. It was originally Greenwood Office Supply on Brown Street and was founded in the 1800’s. Jack Smith, a Brownwood native, purchased it (sometime in the 1960’s I think) and it’s now at 220 Center. They want and deserve our business much more than Staples does. Click here for more information about them.

As far as the computer sales and service at Staples, there are several qualified local IT guys that are more experienced than the Staples guys. Wiley Wood at After Hours IT has been my “Go To” guy for some time and he’s been a valuable asset on several occasions. Click here for his Facebook page. Also Jamison Russell and Brad Barner at Legacy IT have saved my life on more than 1 occasion. A lot of people think I’m a computer guy just because I do a lot of websites but I usually wind up referring referring IT type problems to one of these guys.

If you were getting banners and other signage from Staples, why not shop local with Pam McDonald and Fred Spencer at ASAP Creative Arts. They’re local people with great talent to bring your ideas to life. Also Will Carrier and Diana Angerstein at Willie’s T’s have been serving “shop local” signage customers for years.

Sadly there aren’t a lot of locally owned options for such common things such as milk, bread, and potatoes but I still buy what I can from Cullen’s Hometown Market. They sell a lot of locally grown stuff and a lot of Texas made products. In fact it’s pretty hard to find anything in the store that’s not made or grown in Texas. And while we’re at it- What could be more patriotic than exercising your 2nd amendment by buying your “Texas Made” Mossberg rifle or shotgun from the oldest gun store in america right here in Early Texas.

While I’m on the subject- Did you know that even our local newspaper hasn’t been locally owned in many years. The Brownwood Bulletin is 1 of 121 newspapers owned by Gatehouse Media in New York which means that what little money they spend on local sales tax and their employee’s salary is about the only money invested in Brown County. It’s not surprising that our “true local” newspaper BrownwoodNews.com seems to be receiving more support than the Bulletin (over 16,000 Facebook likes to the Bulletin’s 15,000). Now that Scott and Amanda Coers have taken over the helm of Brownwood News, I look for it to become even more awesome. Sorry to include this little bit of “shameless self promotion” but Gatehouse Media also brags about taking 525 local websites away from local website developers such as myself.

As you work your way through this holiday season, I’m suggesting you ask yourselves this question- Do you want to help the CEOs of major corporations buy another beach condo, or do you want to help the local “mom and pop” store owners to put food on their tables and keep the bills paid?

About Larry Bartley

I live in the northern most region of the Texas Hill Country. I spend a lot of time building websites and blogging about the favorite things in my life. These include but are not limited to- food, wine, travel, lodging, real estate, entertainment, and events in the Texas Hill country.

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