We work with a lot of local businesses, as well as companies around the US and Canada. We feel lucky and thankful to be able to have the opportunity to meet people from all over the country, but we especially love working with people here in the Buffalo, New York region. Here’s why…
Call it an ecosystem
Imagine that the Buffalo area and all of Western New York are in a bubble or glass tank (sure, a fish tank). We’re all “swimming” around in this tank, doing our thing, living our lives, and trying to do the right thing – at least I hope you are. Well, someone has to feed the fish, right? The resources (food/money/people) need to come from somewhere. The good thing is that as humans, we can generate these resources ourselves and supply them back into the system. We can even do a lot of it ourselves, locally. We can grow food, banks can give loans, etc… We are supplying our local ecosystem with the resources it needs to survive… mostly. But, what if we wanted to do more than just survive? What if we wanted to thrive and grow? How does that happen? How do we get more resources pumped into this system? Well, someone needs to open up the top of the tank and sprinkle some of that stuff on all of us, and we need to take advantage of that, take care of it, and keep it flowing. There are companies that are here that specifically look to do that (can you think of who does that?)… and there are companies like mine that try to work with people from all over the USA and Canada to try to bring in some of those external resources.
Where you spend your money is important
Now, what IF a bunch of us were taking the resources from our local ecosystem and sending them outside of the tank into someone else’s tank? What does that mean? How does it affect our ecosystem? Well, think about what I just said above. If another ecosystem is taking in new resources from an outside system, then THAT ecosystem is growing. What does that mean for our system? It means it’s shrinking. It means WE ARE SHRINKING! Do we really want our tank to start getting darker, or smaller, or dirtier, or less self-sustaining? Who would say yes to that? Well, I am sure there are some people out there that would, but that’s not how we think here at this company. We want to see Buffalo grow. We want to see Buffalo thrive. We want to see the people of Buffalo realize dreams that they never thought could happen because we didn’t have the resources here.
There are some things that we just don’t have here that we need to get from somewhere else. That’s a reality, and it’s a good thing. We take for granted the fact that we can really get anything we want because we live in a place that has so much abundance and capability. There are other places in the world where this is not the case.
Think of it like a certain football team
You’d have to be sleeping under a rock to not know what’s going on with the Buffalo Bills these days. How did they turn things around so dramatically? How did things get so good? Well, they brought in the right resources that contribute to the local ecosystem (the team) and each is doing his part to make those around them better, but giving them the time, resources, and tools to do their job to the best of their ability. They are doing what they can do to make those around them better at what they do. What if we all did that? What if we thought of our community as a team, and we did what we can to make our teammates better? Pie in the sky idea or dream? Maybe. But I think it’s possible, and it is proven to work.
So, what do we do?
What can we to do see if this really can happen? Here are some ideas…
Stop buying everything on Amazon just because it’s easy and cheap. Chances are you can find the same product, or a better product locally at a retailed that actually employs one of your neighbors and pays that person so that they can also contribute to the local system. did you know that a lot of the sellers and products you buy on Amazon are knock offs of real products made by real businesses? There are Chinese companies that create hundreds of Amazon stores and just rebrand the products, but it’s all the same crap. Look locally first. Heck, even if you pick it up at Target, you’re still buying it from someone locally the employs another member of our community.
Amazon causes local businesses to fail. We know this. It’s a fact. It’s probably not 100% avoidable, but we can make a difference if we try. We just need to make a little more effort (you know, as we did before Amazon) to buy something. Chances are, you’d get it faster, and it would be a better product.
Try to use a local business or resource when possible. There are a lot of different kinds of businesses here in the Buffalo region. Anything from o-ring manufacturers who can create parts for your kombucha making equipment, to solar electricity equipment, to creative-problem solving consultants, to locally owned and operated auto mechanics, to your friendly neighborhood SEO guy. Each of those companies pays their local employees. And if those employees were to spend their money locally, then they are supporting other local businesses and employees. Do you see the pattern here?
Now, part of me makes me feel like maybe I’ve oversimplified this a bit. But, have I? Isn’t what I am asking simple, but true? If we shop locally, use local resources, and keep our resources within our region only going to help us grow? I think I’m right. Don’t we all want the place where we live to be better, and nicer and for us all to have more opportunities?
Do you have any other ideas or suggestions for ways we can help our local ecosystem thrive? I’d be happy to hear your thoughts, comments, and suggestions. We can all make a difference if we just try a little harder.