The other night, I think I surprised a number of people with my  presentation at the Rainmakers Main Event. Folks in the audience who are familiar with my typically motivational, marketing and personal development messages, were introduced to my other passion : local business!

In a brief 15 minutes I advanced the argument that as business owners, we need to go out of my way to support other local business owners.  If we don’t support and promote these companies, they may not be there when we need them.

Asking the audience to think about the companies they would miss if the businesses closed their doors tomorrow, I was surprised by the range of responses.  From local coffee shops and resutants, to a neighborhood dry cleaner and a web hosting company it was clear we as a group  depend on these local companies  and need to do more to insure their success.

And it just isn’t enough to talk about it.  We need to put our money where our mouth is, and shop local.  If we are annoyed when the ICVA hires an Ohio based marketing firm, then we have to stop drinking at Starbucks and support our local coffee shops.   Erik Deckers explains the cost of this choice in a follow up post he wrote Wednesday morning:

In fact, out of every dollar you spend at a local business, 40 cents of it stays in the community. When you spend a dollar at the big chain stores, 13 cents stays in the local economy.

Every time I have Starbucks, a the majority of my expenditure leaves the Indy economy and heads to Seattle. Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the people of Seattle, but they aren’t sending me any money!  So until I get a client from Seattle or those people simply start sending me money, I won’t be sending them any more!  Look for me at LuLu’s and Hubbard and Craven instead.

Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Starbucks!