By Abby Burbary
The Mason Times
As the importance of shopping local is still a question to be answered, residents, employees and local business owners in the city of Mason said that it is important to them because it supports the local economy and it keeps the community tight-knit.
According to an online article done by the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), shopping at large chain stores actually costs the taxpayers more dollars in the long-term.
“In other words, when new big box chains come to town, expect to pay more taxes,” Jeff Milchen of the AMIBA said in the article.
Not only will the economics change, but the community feeling as a whole will be altered, according to the AMIBA.
“A community’s quality of life changes in ways that macroeconomics is slow to measure, or ignores completely,” Jeff Milchen of the AMIBA said.
Teresa Bates, a resident of Mason, said that shopping local is something that she feels very strongly about.
“I think it’s important to stimulate the local economy, as well as the local small business owners,” Bates said.
Bates said some of her favorite local businesses in Mason include the Maple Street Mall, an antique store, Yards of Fabric, the BAD Brewing Company and the Westside Deli.
“I also like to shop at Family Dollar, because of the convenience to get what I need, without having to go to a huge store, like Meijer or Wal-Mart,” Bates said.
Bates said that she enjoys going to these particular stores because of a mixture of exceptional customer service and the feeling of community.
“I like the customers and the pleasant atmosphere. The employees genuinely care about the customers and take pride in working there,” Bates said.
Tammy Weber, the owner of Mason Floral and Garden in Mason, said her business offers many more products than just flowers.
“We also have candy bouquets and fruit baskets, so we do more than just flowers,” Weber said.
Weber said that her favorite part about owning a local business is seeing many familiar faces.
“I see a lot of the same people, and it’s nice to know your customers,” Weber said.
When it comes to shopping locally, Weber said that is it absolutely important to her.
“I think that shopping locally helps your community,” Weber said.
Autumn Sodman,an employee at The Daily Scoop Ice Cream Shoppe in Mason, said that she enjoys working at a local business because her boss is very friendly, and shopping at a local business helps keep the community close.
“It’s important for people to shop at local businesses versus large franchises, because it keeps the town very local and tight-knit,” Sodman said.
Sodman said that the busiest season for the ice cream shop is summer, but during the winter, the daily number of customers is still fairly decent.
“In the winter, we get about 60 customers per day,” Sodman said.
When asked if she knew any interesting facts about The Daily Scoop Ice Cream Shoppe, Sodman said she knows that all of their waffle cones are hand-made, and all of the ice cream is from the Michigan State University dairy.