Support local businesses: Support Suffolk

Published 9:50 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

After the pay raise debacle of April, it’s comforting to remember that Suffolkians truly do care about what goes on in the city. With City Council meetings normally sparsely attended, it was a delight to know that so many people came out to let their voices be heard at public meetings, no matter their opinion.

But getting your voice heard is only one part of the civic puzzle. When the federal and state governments are unable — or unwilling — to help out, it often falls to the citizenry to support city programs.

But I’m not referring to tax increases. I’m talking about putting the money you are already spending into a place where it can do more good. One option is part of a campaign just launched by Suffolk — the “Love Local: Buy Suffolk” program that encourages Suffolkians to patronize local businesses to boost income for the city.

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The more dollars that go to the city, the more support will be available for important city-funded programs.

Buying local truly is an easy switch.

For example, instead of stopping by your usual big-box retailer for that Mother’s Day gift — which is Sunday, in case you forgot — consider browsing at one of the city’s unusual boutiques or at one of its great nurseries. Then make Sunday extra special for Mom by taking her to dinner at one of the independently owned restaurants that are multiplying across this fair city.

One of the most exciting aspects of Suffolk is the city’s variety. For every tired chain store, two or three similar, but independent, businesses can be found. Supporting these businesses is about much more than supporting a hard-working Suffolk family. It’s also about supporting all Suffolkians and being proud to live and work in Suffolk.

Kevin Hughes, director of Economic Development, told the Suffolk News-Herald, “We want everyone to have that pride within the city.”

We might not be able to go out on the town as much as we used to, but this town offers some great opportunities to shop, eat or play, and the benefits for the community are numerous.