My father was an advocate for developing relationships within his local community. He never met a stranger, had many friends to whom he remained loyal, until his passing. Our dad wanted his family to learn from his experiences and attempted to pass on to us the lessons he learned.
Our dad would always encourage me and my brother when we moved into a new community to introduce ourselves to the local banker, pharmacist, and barber.
I would add a few “experts” to my dad’s suggestions which I will explain later.
My father’s career was in accounting so he knew the importance of having a local financial advisor with whom we could discuss buying a home, car, or local investment opportunities.
Getting to know the local pharmacist was also important to our dad. He would say, “Your pharmacist knows who are the best doctors:” I followed his advice and it actually saved my life. I had received a new prescription and my pharmacist, who I would engage in casual conversations with while waiting, asked me if I was taking a previously prescribed medication which I was not. He informed me if I took both prescriptions together it could be fatal.
Today, it can be difficult to find a local barber shop or hair salon but most communities have them. Your local barber shop is aware of the pulse of the community. Customers share with their barber what is happening in their families’ lives which often include community activities and events. I continue to follow my dad’s advice adding two more local experts.
An important resource often missed or overlooked due to the big box stores is your local hardware store. Many hardware stores are locally-owned small businesses with a depth of expertise you will not find in a box retailer. The store owners know their existence depends on their customers having success completing the projects and repairs the first attempt or at least with minimal challenges. Most hardware store employees have personal experience with greater knowledge of what to do and how to achieve a successful outcome.
Another resource for expert advice is your local plant nursery or farm and feed store. Having a nice yard does not happen by chance, eating healthy begins with locally grown food when possible. Your local nursery can offer advice on what plants, bushes, or trees are best for your yard and they often sell transplants for a garden. Your local farmer will often sell what they grow or raise though a farmstand. The local farm and feed store is also a resource for plants, produce, and pet supplies.
Getting to know and supporting your local businesses is personally beneficial and rewarding. The benefit of having someone to go to who has experience and expertise is comforting. Knowing with every purchase you are supporting families within your community has a value which cannot be measured.