The “Real” Community




On an excursion to Danvers, IL to do a feature on automotive icon and Fuelfed member Bo Danenberger, we spent some time wandering around the two stop sign town. Everything, less the gas station and the Vault tavern was gone, leaving behind a haunting trail of economic destruction fueled by what we call the “Walmarting of America.” The above photo is what was once the local department store a mere ten years.

We’re not ones to rant about causes outside automotive culture. But we strongly believe in supporting locally owned small businesses. “Locally owned,” the purist form of community and is what this, or any great country, was once built-on.

For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $70 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $35 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes back. Think REAL HARD before you click that “buy it” button.

Do your part and save your real community.



Editors Update:

We caught some flack that the world has evolved and selling online is the way selling needs to be. Granted it’s easier and most times, faster. But dreadfully devoid of soul.

But the point is community. The act of face to face interpersonal communication. This is how real relationships are built. Actually going into an owner-operated store and asking questions and getting realtime answers makes for a more memorable human experience. In fact, you might just learn something useful your electronic pacipher can’t find online.

Going to Fat Johnnies on south Western Ave. or Target for a hotdog? Which experience is going to support a local resident, be a more memorable experience, and actually taste better? It also keeps neighborhoods just that..neighborhoods.

Next time you need help moving that transmission to the other side of the garage, ask your Facebook friends or the kid at Target. Betcha Fat Johny would would be there and he’d bring a six pack.





3 Responses to “The “Real” Community”

  1. David Taitel Says:

    While I agree that the big box stores have dramatically change our local retail landscape, I disagree with condemning the internet. These stores have certainly made it very difficult for the local stores to survive. How can a small store with limited budget and limited shelf space compete? The Internet has become the new main street for many small businesses. These mom & pop operations are able to do far more business on the web than possible with local customers. These business owners are still your neighbor and still spend the money locally. So next time you decide not to buy at a local brink store, try to buy from a locally owed website.

  2. Michael Scott Says:

    My uncle was Frank Winchell, VP of General Motors. He would have described this as “Optimization of Natural Selection”. In a weird way, our system needs Walmarts because it forces the little guy to think outside the box to survive. In this case Walmart drives the development of the internet. The money may not stay in our community but we can keep it in our country. Walmart will come to it’s natural end. During one of the strikes with the UAW, Frank said to me, “No company has a union that doesn’t deserve it”. The international workers will eventually organize and Walmart will have changed the world, and screwed themselves at the same time.

  3. Bernie Says:

    Taitel, you make a good point about utilizing local websites. I can’t say that I’ve thought much about that before. There are times that I order online due to time and the shippingconvenience, and I will check for local stores next time.

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