Shop Local, Damnit.

Living in Taos can be tough – we are all trying to make ends meet in a town where costs are high. Housing, food, fuel, and basic goods all stretch the limits of our budgets. Frequently, items purchased in Taos cost more than elsewhere.  I complain about it sometimes. I bet you do, too. It IS hard. But is there something we can do, besides complaining?

YES. We can all shop locally a bit more often. Not just this holiday season, but all the time. But starting now, at the holidays, is a darn good idea.

You might say: “I can’t afford to shop local!” Yes, you can. And when you decide this, to make the effort, then you are helping to make Taos more affordable. How? The formula is simple: money spent in Taos stays in Taos and helps your friends, your neighbors, and your favorite businesses, make a living. It also creates a domino effect – if there is more money is spent Taos, then more money will stay in Taos. It’s a beautiful circuitous cycle. More money means more business, which translates into better prices and more and better jobs. I’m not going to bore you with numbers, but look into it yourself if you doubt the veracity of that statement.

I guarantee you that if you are consistently ordering online or driving down south just to save a few bucks, then YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. I’m not usually an all-caps type of gal, but I feel strongly about this one. Here’s a question: Do you donate to local charities, but shop out-of-town? Then I’m going to have to call you a hypocrite – I’m SORRY. But it’s true. Giving your dollars to a local business is just as important as giving to your favorite nonprofit, because it helps this community that you claim to love. I would also bet you that if you made an effort to shop locally a bit more, you wouldn’t miss those extra dollars all that much. REALLY.

I’m not trying to be too judgey here. I know you attract more bees with honey. But I’m tired of the excuses, or the half-hearted attempts – y’know, the ones where you absolutely need something today and ordering online or driving south aren’t an option and so you pat yourself on the back for actually wandering into a local shop. That doesn’t cut it.

If every single person (hell, even just half of us) who lives in Taos decided to patronize only local shops this season, the effect would be astronomical. We would turn this little town into the economic engine that could. So, please: PLEDGE TO SHOP LOCAL. Turn your little black Grinch “I-can’t-afford-it” heart into a do-gooder explosion of money and light. You’ll be glad you did.