Join big picture: Shop locally|Column

Published 3:51 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

I found it ironic that on a day that our newspaper and the Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce encouraged folks to spend “$20 on the 20th,” news broke that our longtime grocery store Winn-Dixie would be closing next month.
Amid the excitement of local merchants who were busy all day selling special deals to customers, that news was hard to take.
But perhaps it is also a wakeup call for all of us.
Shopping locally — whether it’s spending $20 on the 20th, 75 cents on a Coke at the gas station or thousands on a car at one of our local dealers — is not just a gimmick or a slogan.
It’s not just about the tax revenue that helps fill our city coffers and funds police and fire protection, public works and other needed services.
Local shopping is the backbone of our economy. It is our livelihood and that of our neighbors.
When our local merchants are successful, all of us are successful.
Winn-Dixie’s closure means that more than 50 people are out of jobs.
We all need each other.
As we promoted the $20 on the 20th event, one of the things that stuck out for me in talking with merchants and business experts about the impact of shopping locally was that it isn’t just about money.
It’s about making sure we realize that we’re all in this together.
We are in a tough economy, everywhere. Brewton and Escambia County have fared better than many areas, but we have seen some of our neighbors lose their jobs, either at local plants or in nearby industries.
Shopping locally might not stop job losses everywhere, but it is a big piece of the puzzle in making sure our economy keeps humming along.
Terrence Breckenridge, co-owner of The Hourglass, said it best.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by e-mail at

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