Lisa Popovich: Why I shop local

Lisa Popovich/For Steamboat Today
Lisa Popovich
Courtesy Photo

Since returning to live and work in Steamboat Springs, it has become my habit to shop Steamboat. I was skeptical at first. I thought no one would carry my size or the selection would not be what I was accustomed to or everything would be outside my budget.

Boy, was I wrong.

To my surprise, there were all kinds of options in town for fashion for myself and Chad, and great gift ideas, as well. Local merchants are eager to special order and find me exactly what I need, and when someone compliments me on what I am wearing, I let them know where they can get one, too.

I want to get the word out that we don’t need to go to Silverthorne or shop online. Really, almost anything you want is right here, and if it’s not, someone will get it for you.

I was multi-store manager for a national retailer for many years. I can tell you with certainty that every store manager at “the mall” is gathering their staff and giving them the holiday speech.

“We want customers to feel like they are shopping in their neighborhood store” or “We want people to feel like they are our neighbor.”

Well, folks — we are the real deal.

The personal relationships national retailers are trying to build are present here in Steamboat, and we take it for granted. It doesn’t take more than two visits to a restaurant or retailer downtown for the owners and staff to know you. The inventory to can be found here will not be in all the catalogues you throw away at the Post Office. It is hand selected by the owners and their buyers to be here specifically for you.

Sure, they keep the tourists in mind, but they are really buying what they like, so they are shopping for you. The only way you will know what is out there is to stop into the shops.

So, I want to encourage you to shop locally. The local taxes collected when you buy local go to support our Steamboat lifestyle. This is a very giving community, as is evidenced by the number of thriving non-profit organizations here.

Remember, our business community generously supports many of our causes enthusiastically, so let’s show them our appreciation by stopping into their stores this holiday season and making a purchase.

I have made the pledge to shop local. Will you join me?

Lisa Popovich is program manager for Mainstreet Steamboat Springs.

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