Buy local and see your money trickle down to charities

Published on Thursday, 13 February 2014 21:51 - Written by Terry Miller Guest Columnist

Well, 2014 is underway, and except for the weather, it has been a pretty good start. We have political signs everywhere for March elections and Tyler was just named one of the top 10 markets in Texas to have a restaurant. Spring in East Texas promises to be amazing, and to say the least, entertaining. As everyone knows I am a big fan of buying local first and I want to make clear that local can mean a lot of things to a lot of folks.

For example, one of my favorite places to eat is “What About Kabobs.” It is 100 percent locally owned by one of the greatest young men you will ever know and his wife. My favorite thing on the menu is the cheeseburger and fries. I know it’s not a Kabob, but Joey does a great job on one of the best burgers in Texas and when you’re done you can autograph the wall. On the weekend, they often have live music from some of the best local bands in the area in the parking lot.

Next up is “Dickey’s BBQ.” Yes it’s a franchise, but there is one thing I support and that’s the fact that it’s 100 percent locally owned and operated! For me that’s a big deal and I would hope it is for you as well. Franchises are a fact of life in this world and I understand that, so I try to limit my shopping to those that are 100 percent locally owned and operated.

I buy my coffee from Brady’s in the Brick Streets because Starbucks isn’t owned locally and Seattle doesn’t need my help. Now, if Brady’s wasn’t here, I might have to go to Starbucks, but thankfully I have a local choice. I have worked with a franchise that was largely owned by out- of- the-area people and it was not a great experience at all. They didn’t understand East Texans and they always compared us to other markets in an effort to motivate me. The ole, “one size fits all” is wrong. In my opinion, one size fits one and you need to adapt to your market.

Walmart even does this by having things that are different than in communities around the country, and yes, I try not to send my money to Bentonville as well.

If your business is 100 percent locally owned and operated, you know your market and have done your homework on what you are offering.

By buying local you support so many things in our community from the actual business to charities that those businesses give to and a host of other things all the way down to a pothole being fixed in the street.

I love the fact that my money spent locally helps a young woman or man buy a new guitar or take riding lessons, and I hope you will as well.

Do your neighbor a favor and try to find local alternatives to big box out-of-town-owned franchise operations. They’ll thank you for it and trust me you will feel good about helping out the community.

Remember spring is around the corner and with all the rain we have gotten it’s going to be beautiful in East Texas. Hope to see all of you at a local business real soon.

Terry Miller can be seen all over Tyler at live entertainment events and is the owner/broker of Miller Homes Group & Tyler Apartment Locator