Keep Your Money Where Your House Is

Most of us are happy where we live. Otherwise, we’d live somewhere else.

By TED UECKER
Hettinger Chamber Member

We like the safety, the less hectic pace of life, the parades, and we adore the people (for the most part!). We put up with the sometimes extreme weather. And the small town gossip. And being somewhat remote from some of the things offered in the larger metropolitan cities.

Recently, we have witnessed one business after another closing in our smaller, rural North Dakota communities. So what are we going to do about it?

We, at the Hettinger Chamber of Commerce, believe that we all need to look in the mirror. Are we all doing our fair share to “keep our money where our house is?” Could we purchase Christmas toys for our kids at Runnings instead of Target? Would they know the difference? Of course, there are some things our town doesn’t really offer, so it is understandable that we need to travel to find certain products or services we want and need. But everything? We know it’s easy to swing in to Sam’s Club or Walmart or Menards – but, if you really think about it, can’t we get most of these items in our own town?

We’ve been out visiting with our local businesses and we’ve heard a few things:

•They will bend over backwards to try and get you the product you want or need.

•They will service the product they sell – no matter what!

•They will support most every local fundraiser, benefit, and community event.

•They will work with our Emergency personnel to leave work at most any time.

In a nutshell, they want a shot at your business. Maybe they can’t get it or compete or provide the service immediately – but they’d sure like to visit about it. They’d like you to walk in their door – and visit.

So the next time you need the local Ambulance or Fire Department; or you need a donation for your event; or you expect the local businesses to give, give, give, for whatever it is you need — then maybe we should all consider “keeping our money where our house is.”

Don’t get us wrong, our local businesses want to provide the best products/services for you, at the very best possible price. But they aren’t buying 4 million widgets from overseas! And whether their prices are a little too high or not as cheap as Sam’s Club, we really doubt if Sam’s Club is helping our town with donations, sponsorship of events, and certainly not letting their employees leave to put out your fire or perform CPR on your loved one.

We have everyday heroes right here in Hettinger. At the top are our firemen volunteers, our ambulance volunteers, our police officers, and our volunteers at numerous non-profit organizations (from the school to the nursing home to the churches). But our local business owners, who have taken the risk to create and run a successful business in our rural community, who support our heroes at the top, and who support every event in this town – they are everyday heroes too. We cannot let them all close shop. Keep your money where your house is – or we might not have a community with houses, and businesses, and heroes. Like you.