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I was talking with a friend recently about buying local.
Most of us understand the value and importance of local businesses.
Most have heard the adage that, if you spend a dollar with a locally owned business, it stays in our area and gets spent at least seven times locally before it leaves town. With corporate chain stores, not as much.
There are many things, though, that are not easily found except through a corporate chain store, or online. But I can pretty much guarantee amazon.com will not sponsor your kid’s cheerleading squad or help with your high school band fundraiser.
With a little patience, a little thought and a little creativity, we can all help local businesses, folks who provide the backbone of support to so many local groups and causes.
On a recent Saturday, I took pause to examine the clothes I was wearing and thought about where I got them.
Shoes: at the Clarks store in the El Paso Outlet Mall.
Socks: Organ Mountain Outfitters.
Underwear: Kmart (before it left Las Cruces – I guess that tells you how often I buy new underwear … I know, TMI)
Jeans: Savers thrift store in Las Cruces (which donates to some local charities).
Belt: Made by Mr. Staley at the Las Cruces Farmers Market.
T-shirt: Bought from my friends at City Barber Shop, emblazoned with their logo.
Sweatshirt: A customized Aggie sweatshirt from Brian Cox and his crew at Sports Accessories.
NM State ball cap: Also from Sports Accessories.
That’s actually pretty good. It would be pretty difficult to outfit myself much more locally than that.
Clothing is one of the hardest things to do locally.
When he was still carrying shoes, I would get my Stacy Adams Madison dress shoes from Michael at A Real Man in Mesilla. He still carries a lot of great shirts, hats and accessories.
Also in Mesilla, more geared toward women, there is the Emerald Isle Boutique, and some clothes and boots at Julienne Jewelry.
Downtown Las Cruces has Organ Mountain Outfitters with quite a few cool shirts and jackets and accessories. There are a few other local places to buy clothes, mostly specialty items.
Much easier is to find a local place to eat. In my mind, all of the best restaurants are locally owned ones, and many are very, very good. Too many good ones to list here by name. We have several that have been around for 50 years or more, and that says a lot.
There are many other types of local businesses to patronize here in the Mesilla Valley, to serve almost any need you can think of.
I took just a few minutes recently to review my own buying habits, which made me think of ways I could expand my local spending.
Not far from my house is Chavira’s Produce, where I shop for veggies and fruit, and since they added a carniceria, I get a lot of my meat there also. We have a handful of local carnicerias and tortillerias, and three full-fledged local grocery stores: Save Mart on Valley Drive, Mountain View Co-Op on Idaho Avenue and Toucan Market on University Avenue.
There are a lot of things you can do locally you might not have considered.
One man’s trash …
Is your mailbox flooded regularly with items you don’t want, but worry about throwing away because it has some of your vital info? After all, identity theft is seemingly everywhere these days. What if I told you about a way to protect your information and also avoid adding to the landfill?
There’s a local business called American Document Services, which can store your business’s records (physically and/or electronically) and can also shred your personal papers. Then they make sure it’s disposed of properly and sustainably.
Think local, drink local …
There are so many local and regional brewers these days, you could go the rest of your life without ever purchasing Budweiser or Coors again. Most of the local brewers have growlers (refillable bottles) you can purchase and return time and again, avoiding a pileup of cans or bottles.
We also have several local winemakers, and from Little Toad Creek and Dry Point, we now have locally distilled liquors.
“Bring it on home to me …”
Do you play a musical instrument or sing in a band? There are lots of great options without having to leave Doña Ana County. There’s Mountain Music, Hubbard’s Music-N-More, Mesilla Valley Pro Music and White’s Music Box, which has probably outfitted half the students who have marched in a high school band in Las Cruces for the past 62 years.
Almost anything you need done to your vehicle can be done right here in Las Cruces. That’s common when it comes to auto repair, detailing and used cars, but even most of our large, brand-name dealerships have local, community-minded ownership. All you have to do to be reminded of that is to take a walk on the New Mexico State University campus at the Pat and Lou Sisbarro Park.
If you’d rather have two wheels than four, you have two long-established local bicycle shops, Ride On Sports and Outdoor Adventures. And if you like your bicycle with a little electric boost, there’s a new outfit called E-Bikes of Southern New Mexico.
And if you like your two wheels with some real, gasoline-powered vroom, check out Las Cruces Motorsports. They’ve also got some with three wheels and four.
Jonesing for java?
We all know there are plenty of national chain places you can go to get coffee, but none that will also serve you a green chile bagel or a green chile cheddar scone.
You’ve got a friend
I could go on forever, and maybe will in a future column, but I’ll end here: there’s one local place you can go to find your new best friend, the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley.