Recycling dollars at the Community Mercantile

My ad in the Merc newsletter every month

Today I found myself in multiple roles all at one place: The Community Mercantile!

Way back when I was in law school, I lived over by the Merc on Mississippi. Being a poor college student and living at a house that was primarily vegetarian, we constantly had to come up with new cooking ideas. I still have loads of recipes from those days (I really need to type those into my computer). I’ve been a loyal Merc customer ever since. Primarily, I’m my role is as a customer of the Merc.

When I started my own business I wanted to be a paid member of the Merc (an owner) and became an advertiser in their newsletter shortly thereafter. Advertising in the Merc was a source of pride for me. It was my way of saying, “I’m a local business owner in this community and I believe in small business”. Sure, I might get more exposure advertising at a big chain store, but the Merc is vested in the community, just like I am. It’s currently the only place I have a regular ad in. My other role therefore is an advertiser and business supporter of the Merc.

Occasionally, the Merc needs specialized support (usually with the Macs).   I’m a vendor to the Merc and it’s members

Today, I was there shopping as a customer as well as providing some computer support. I also met two of my customers while eating in the cafe, and both were customers that first found out about me via the Merc newsletter.  All three roles in a one hour period: no hat change required.  Customer, advertiser, and vendor.

The dollars I gave the Merc as a customer and as an advertiser, returns to me as a computer repair person in Lawrence, KS. The money I earn doing repair returns right back to the Merc via my grocery and advertising dollars. Then more people find out about DoctorDave, I’m able to spend more at the Merc…you get the idea.

Buying with a small and local business is all about recycling the dollars. When you spend money at a chain grocery store a small to large portion of that money going up a chain to the companies headquarters, and possible the stockholders. The actual money reinvested in the community is very small. Nothing against these big businesses, but realize when you purchase there, your purchase simply has less impact on the local economy and pulls money away from it.

Working with businesses like DoctorDave and the Merc helps ensure that our money is recycled in our community and spurs out local economy.

Speaking of recycling: don’t forget electronics recycling at Free State High School this Saturday 9:00am to 1pm Consider that your second reminder 🙂

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