So who am I? I am an internet entrepreneur, a self taught coder and I am also a supporter of local economic development. I have been running my own business in one form or another since I was 18 years old. My passion has always been marketing/advertising as it’s own art form. My background in retail is extensive, mostly in the optical industry. I am also a single mother, and that was a big part of the original concept for this website. I struggled to support my three children by taking on traditionally male job opportunities. I worked as a corrections officer, a logger (yes I am good with a chainsaw) and also as a millwright. It was during my time as a Union Millwright Apprentice that I had the idea for this endeavor. I was at the bottom of the pay scale in my local area but soon discovered that I could command journeyman scale in other areas if I would ‘boom out’ and travel for work. This was a little challenging with the kids but I decided to do it. The amount of money I could make in a short time would let me spend more time at home being a mom. The thing that became most obvious was how difficult it was to travel to an area you weren’t familiar with and stop anywhere other than big brand names like McDonalds or Best Western. It happened more than once that I stopped with the kids only to find a cool mom and pop place right down the road. I would have much rather added to their bank account instead. If only I had known it was there!
GoLikeLocals.com was born from these experiences. It is a manifestation of my passion for freedom. I mean freedom in a very real sense; not just lip service. I am talking about a sense of pride and ownership in ones own life. That feeling you get when you accomplished something wonderful; like supporting your family and taking care of your responsibilities with money you made in your own business. That Spirit of Entrepreneurship is the American Dream alive and thriving! I find it pulsing in small towns all across the country. In fact it is the only sign of life in many small communities. The only way to protect this freedom and establish a self sufficiency that isn’t in fear of downsizing or outsourcing is to stay in business and grow. Local independent businesses are the foundation of the economy. It is this conglomeration of owner operated businesses that support the world economy; I admire that. I have pride in the people that make it as a local independent business owner. This is who we really are, the people that carry on in spite of everything and make it work.
This is my way of helping local independent businesses and communities grow stronger and create a brighter future. I believe more people would shop local independent businesses if it was easier to do.
This graph from AMIBA is a visual explanation of how I know that the fastest way to strengthen our economy is by shifting our spending to local independent businesses!
I don’t expect anyone, myself included, to instantly shop 100% local; I do expect that more of the money out there will start to flow through the local economies and have a genuine impact if we make it easier to do! I also know that local is really everywhere and we can’t just support it at home. We have to shop local when we can and wherever we are. Join Us and watch the world change from your front porch!