Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Does local shopping mean LOCAL? If so, who is local?

Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2012, at 9:56 AM
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  • First, I would say that any shopping locally will help the local economy by providing a need to employ workers. There will also be local sales tax that will help the community.

    Now as far as locally owned businesses, I am not sure. Probably most of the ones on the square are locally owned and most of the service companies, but obviously the bigger stores and groceries are owned by a corporation. They still benefit us but their profits go elsewhere.

    There is a grocery store on Fairfield/Deery that is probably local. Your shops/restaurants in Bell Buckle, Wartrace, and Normandy but this is where our other blog responders can help.

    Who else is locally owned?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 10:00 AM
  • -- Posted by southernsioux on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 10:59 AM
  • Shelbyville isn't in the list, and Tullahoma only has "Retail Committee" listed.

    I prefer local-owned business here in Shelbyville, I know there are quite a hand full. But, I'll go to Tullahoma as well.

    -- Posted by craftin_mom on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 11:08 AM
  • It's more about keeping an open mind than about hard-and-fast rules. People sometimes say, "they tell me I need to shop local, but I can't find such-and-such locally," or "such-and-such costs more if you buy it locally," or what have you.

    I think most shop-at-home campaigns are more about making sure that you've at least given local merchants a shot at your business. Too many people go out-of-town first without even looking at what's available locally. If something isn't available locally, or if you can get a better deal elsewhere, you obviously have to do what's best for you as a shopper. But make sure you know all of what's available, and be careful about blanket assumptions.

    Sometimes, even if there's a price difference between a local business and an out-of-town (or internet) business, there's still an advantage to buying locally if the product requires service and support.

    Yes, there's a difference between the local branch of a retail chain based somewhere else and a truly locally-owned-and-operated business. But even the chain store generates local tax revenue and puts local people to work.

    It's not about saying always do this or never do that; it's about being aware of your choices and trying to figure out what's best both for your short-term budget and the long-term health of the community.

    -- Posted by jcarney on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 11:53 AM
  • Isn't the Piggly Wiggly here in town locally owned?

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Wed, Nov 21, 2012, at 3:02 PM
  • I forgot about that possibility jaxspike. It could be a national name but actually a franchise which could be locally owned. In that case, franchise fees are the only thing going to the parent company.

    Yesterday was a case in point for me. I needed a part for our lawn tractor so I searched Shelbyville and found it over on Depot Street. As it turned out, I misunderstood the price, so I went to a friend of mine on eBay.

    I would have saved $6.00 with my friend, BUT Debbi wanted it the same day (the lawn tractor is her baby), we were able to compare it physically to the old part, did business locally and I found someone to fix my farm tractor.

    By the way, it is also locally owned. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Nov 22, 2012, at 6:55 AM
  • I'm looking for a list of all the retail shopping stores that are locally owned and operated in Shelbyville. I know the lil mini-mall on Main, the Knit Kit and her neighbors. Colleen's Cottage is no longer in business, neither is Granny's Gingham Dog. So, where are the locally owned and operated shops to support and buy nice gifts for Christmas? I don't know anyone who needs farm equipment, lol!

    -- Posted by craftin_mom on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 8:54 AM
  • The Antiques, Art & Collectibles Mall on the square in Shelbyville actually has several vendors inside that sell a variety of different things that might make good and unique Christmas gifts.

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Sat, Nov 24, 2012, at 8:57 PM
  • It would be so great if some of the Wartrace store owners would empty out their spots which they're using for storage so that people could open REAL stores and get some business coming into Wartrace. Such a beautiful square but the buildings are all filled with stuff being stored. Such a shame. It could be another Bell Buckle.. but I have heard this isn't wanted here.

    Yes.. the Art & Collectibles Mall has a great variety of things very unique gifts! You also have Pomegranate ( upscale gifts) Merle Norman, (Hello Kitty gifts and more) J.Jordan (clothing) a home decorating store that is extremely unique, on Depot Street you have Artistic Treasures... People need to get up to the square and support these stores! You also have 5 eating places.. Bell Buckle has One!

    -- Posted by Skooter on Sun, Nov 25, 2012, at 6:23 AM
  • From having been a merchant in Wartrace, there were a few property owners who do not want to do anything but use the buildings as a warehouse, but I do not know the thinking of toady's leaders. Might not hurt top ask.

    craftin_mom, I could use a front loader for my tractor, ;-), ;-) but first I need to get my three point hitch hydraulics overhauled.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Nov 25, 2012, at 7:42 AM
  • I agree Skooter . . . I always wonder why so many of the buildings in Wartrace remain empty. I actually think that Wartrace has the space and potential to do more than Bell Buckle and I was hoping the addition of the museum would spark some life in the square but nothing has happened yet. You have a few that try like the owner of the hotel but you need more than just one or two to make something happen. Of course the community also has to support it to make it successful and most seem content to have nothing there which is shame because it could really be a nice little place

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 12:28 PM
  • When we were in Wartrace, we tried to encourage several property owners, even going so far as offering to "manage" the stores for them.

    One person responded that they kept the property to keep voting rights in the town. Another kept talking about plans but as we see nothing developed.

    I understand plans falling through. Our plans for our BB property have not progressed as we wished and we have to settle for parking cars until the economy perks up.

    There are good people in Wartrace and I think the majority would be OK with a thriving downtown, but maybe some are concerned that it will get away from them. They might not want a shiny new McDonalds, but responsible city codes could prevent that.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 4:56 PM
  • I agree mostly with what you say Steve . . . it just saddens me that someone would let a building go to waste just to maintain voting rights in a town in which they evidently dont love enough to want to see it prosper. I agree, I also do not want to see a McDonalds here in Wartrace but I wouldnt mind a Dollar General but that is just because nothing else is here and DG is so convenient to pick up the essentials without having to go to town or pay a high price like you do at the convenience store. Anyway, Bell Buckle has managed to thrive and prosper while maintaining it's small town charm and local business (even though I think they still need to clean up some areas) so I don't see why Wartrace can't do the same. I would love to have the money and be able to buy one of those buildings and start a business and help turn Wartrace into something special. Unfortunately some people are limted in scope in the way they think and dont see the potential the town has.

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Nov 26, 2012, at 7:31 PM
  • I agree, I wouldn't want to see any kind of major chain, but some small gift stores, and unique stores (not just antique stores) that would keep the Wartrace charm. I looked at a building there to open a store, and although the price did not seem like a lot, the building needed major work which I couldn't afford, so I had to forgo it. I would love to open a store there and still would if I could find something affordable. I do think that it would be nice if some way if people own a commercial building they should HAVE to open some sort of retail establishment after a period of time or be taxed at high rates if using it as storage and letting it get run down.

    Oh.. by the way.. the building I looked at was owned by a bell buckle person.

    -- Posted by Skooter on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 7:36 AM
  • Those folks may still live in Wartrace although operating a store in Bell Buckle, if it is the one I am thinking.

    If we were opening again, we would go back to Wartrace for the "warm fuzzy" feeling we got from the residents. They were good times.

    But since we would be doing it for economic reasons, we would probably locate in Bell Buckle. It already has momentum and the majority of merchants there WANT to do business.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Nov 27, 2012, at 7:56 AM
  • A friend of mine purchased all her gifts on the Shelbyville Square last year. It might not work every time but it did for her last year. Shopping locally saves shipping and gasoline for travel. I sell my vintage dishware less than on- line prices plus they charge shipping. I am beginning to stock basic sewing/quilting supples because I don't like to spend the time and gasoline costs driving out of town and assume there are others here of the same mind. My booths are at the Antiques Art and Collectibles Mall on the Square. I believe J Carney makes a good point--check out local first.

    -- Posted by jbillswms on Fri, Nov 30, 2012, at 10:42 AM
  • Yeah, I checked out the Antiques Art and Collectibles Mall on the Square for the first time a couple of weeks ago when they Art in the Park and found some neat stuff in there. To be honest, I just never think of looking around on the square but have lately including the wonderful bakery Wild About Cakes. :-)

    -- Posted by jaxspike on Sat, Dec 1, 2012, at 9:48 AM
  • Folks, if you are a merchant in Shelbyville or Bedford County leave us a quick post to let us know. Not an ad but one or two lines might be good.

    The T-G earns a living by selling ads, so I hope they won't mind a quick note here? We won't do it often. :-)

    By the way folks, a quick note on here will not replace and advertising program. I do not work for the T-G but they are nice enough to provide this blog and I like to support them as much as anyone in the community.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Dec 1, 2012, at 9:58 AM
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