Supporting Local Business Through Local Contractors

Supporting Local Business Through Local Contractors

by Brian S Gerau

What does the weather in Southeast Missouri and shopping local have in common? Well, not much. Our spring has been hot and cold and hot and colder and our local businesses seem to be on fire year long. But what made me compare the two?


With our recent run of bad weather I know several members and businesses have had damage to their homes/business. The Jackson area is no stranger to bad weather any time of year. Here’s to wishing them a speedy recovery and rebound. But days after our most recent bad weather something happened that really put the spotlight on local business.


Like many others I, myself, had roof damage. About $10,000 worth if anyone is counting. In my process to recover I was contacted by several roofing and construction companies; many of these companies were door to door contractors. I had the opportunity to meet some really nice people from Saint Louis…Illinois… and, Arkansas. In the initial conversation I would ask about their business and turnaround time. I’d also initiate discussion about where their business was located and what they did in return for the area and community. A majority of the contractors that contacted me were from out of town. Their roofing crews were from out of town. The tools and gas bought to drive down to our neighborhoods are bought out of town as well. And I suppose when they complete their jobs they will take their money out of town too.


My point is this; shopping local just isn’t to retailers, restaurants and markets. Not many people would consider contracting a roofing company to be “shopping” local. But it is. It’s obvious by the yard signs that there are companies from out of the area. Let’s be conscious about the companies that are owned here, that work here and stay here. Let’s support those companies that in turn reinvest in our community. It’s vital.


Besides, it makes good sense to be able to work with a local contractor that you will see in the future, call in the future, and hopefully refer to in the future if needed. That local contractor will be around if you have questions. Plus they will have a location that you as the consumer can go to without driving 3 hours or wait for a return call.


In my case, I feel much more comfortable having a $10,000 job be done by a local proprietor who I know will reinvest in the Jackson area and who I can contact and see in a moment’s notice. Try to remember what “shopping local” means. It covers many, many businesses and many, many lines of work and it affects each and every one of us.


Brian S Gerau is the Executive Director of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce.

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