Buying Local Matters, and Not Only When Talking About Food

There is a growing movement within “foodie circles” to buy  locally grown food. After all, food grown nearby not only supports small, local farms but, since it doesn’t require transporting it significant distances, it adds less pollutants into the environment too. But just as there is a benefit to buying locally when it comes to food, so too is there a case to be made for patronizing local businesses. Think about it, if local residents don’t patronize a business downtown who will?

I recently purchased a new radio (I will be reviewing it soon), and it led me to think about my shopping options. I could have bought it at Amateur Electric Supply, R & L Electronics, Ham Radio Outlet or Gigaparts.  All would have been convenient and resulted in my getting the radio I wanted. I, however, I am lucky to have the very fine Universal Radio located right here in Columbus, OH. I chose to give them the business instead of ordering it online.

Amateur Radio have been feeling some pressure as of late. Sure the internet is an issue, but let’s face it, amateur radio just isn’t as popular a hobby as it used to be. Although I should note that a recent change in licensing is causing its popularity to rise a bit.  As a result of declining interest, there aren’t as many radio stores around. It is a fact. And if you do not have a local shop and want to buy a radio you are left with one alternative… the internet.

I am glad Universal Radio is in my town and I want them to stay. That is why I patronize them for my all ham radio purchases.  Think about it. The convenience of being able to run down and make a quick purchase, let alone the help they can offer in an emergency, is something you can never get from the Internet.

And there is another reason for me to spend my dollars there. The current owners. I know Fred and Barbara Osterman.  They are nice people. The do good in the community. For example, they support a local Cat Welfare charity to the point of rescuing strays that come near the store. They have even adopted some and made them “store cats”.  I know Fred and Barb, and I want to help them be successful– even if that means I pay a few dollars extra when I shop there. .

So the next time you go to the internet to buy something, maybe stop for just one second and consider the possibility that you could get the same product locally. Because in the process you will help your local economy, help insure the diverse character of your area and, in the process, you just might be helping some great people in the process.

Pictures for this story were obtained from Universal Radio’s web site.  Please check them out if you live in the Columbus area, or feel free to visit their website.

Categories: Gear Bits