Support Our Community

Contributed by Kimberly Bustillos

We live in a global economy, where consumer markets are won over by commercial mega giants. With large chain stores like Wal Mart, Target, and Costco catering to our every need- why shop local?

Alaska’s largest industry is oil and gas. Most of us are feeling the effects of lowering oil prices and production. PFD’s getting cut and hiring freezes within the oil and gas industry have been hot topics for the last few years. Alaska is desperate for an identity depicting real Alaskan culture and a strong economy based on local businesses.

I attended an event put on by Vote Local on October 26 at Lone Wolf Aura. Vote Local advocates using your money to buy local. By doing this you are voting in favor of the local economy. The event was an art exhibit by Douglas Girard, fine artist, with music played by Meggie Aube, owner of Percussion in the Valley. Both artists are grateful supporters of Vote Local. “Shopping in the community is giving to the community.”, said Aube. The tickets to the event support the artists and can be used as a coupon for discounts to thirty local businesses.

Events like this are crucial to building connections and getting people involved in local businesses. “It widens your view of what’s out there- what is happening in the community.”, said Girard. With sprawling businesses throughout the Mat-Su Valley and Anchorage it is difficult to know how many local businesses sell the everyday things we buy at commercial chain stores. Going to local entertainment events builds connections. This widens our perspective on what is available from locals.

Shop local because you care about your community and the local economy. Buying local supports the people and businesses that build the character of our neighborhoods, cities, and state. I had an incredible time at the event put on by Vote Local and will be attending many more events like this. I hope you do too.