To The Daily Sun,
Like many of our friends, my husband and I love to spend a day in Portsmouth. We gladly make the hour plus drive any chance we get. While Randy and Sue Bullerwell of All My Life Jewelers recently shared with me that Portland is their favorite day trip. A friend and I recently discovered Peterborough and have plans to return soon. What is it about these three cities that appeals to us? It wasn't the big box stores or food chains, but the uniqueness of the independently owned shops, boutiques and restaurants.
What makes a town or city a destination is the character and charm found only in these businesses owned by people, not corporations. It's knowing that no two are exactly alike that make us want to go inside and experience what each one has to offer. It's the knowledge that every dollar we spend is paying that business owner's bills.
Without independently-owned businesses every city and town would look like the next, all containing the same cookie-cutter looking, brand-conscious facades, with all the same products. Is that what you want for the Lakes Region? If your answer is no, then I beg of you, think twice about where you shop.
Every time you shop online or at a big box store, you chisel away at the very foundation of the uniqueness that people seek out when they choose a destination. A large portion of the Lakes Region's revenue is a result of people who chose it as their favorite place. They aren't all here for a week of skiing or water sports. Many, like my husband and I and the Bullerwells, are just looking for a nice place to spend a day, browsing the unique shops, shipping drinks and dining in interesting restaurants.
Please do your part. Shop local, support your community. Help keep independently owned businesses strong.
Debbie Bolduc, VP & Acting President
Belknap Independent Business Alliance