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Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are

Every dollar spent at a locally owned business pays dividends in your community. If you wish to see a viable economy, choose local businesses over chain stores.

In 1895, educator and author Booker T. Washington cajoled members of his community to “cast down your bucket where you are” instead of seeking labor or employment somewhere else. Likewise, I believe more can be accomplished for the benefit of our community by casting our talents and our dollars where we live by buying and producing locally, as well as abandoning a “there’s nothing I can do” attitude.

It’s tempting in the face of seemingly intractable problems to uproot and leave, convinced that nothing can be done. Individuals and families make this choice every day. I spoke to dozens of friends and acquaintances who have left Illinois for greener pastures over the past several years, and I can count myself in that number. 

For a community to be successful, however, a collective effort is needed to bring the kind of entertainment, businesses, and recreation you want to see, as well as support those places already in existence. Supporting local businesses means using your dollars like votes in favor of the businesses you want to remain. 

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