pssst. Economic Development….. It’s not just a fancy phrase

I hear this a lot….

“People already shop, travel, etc… to Galesburg and/or The Quad Cities to buy groceries.”

And surprisingly it comes from a lot of different places (not the ones you would think of)

Couple of things about that.

First – can we please talk about how grocery stores create jobs, generate tax revenue IN TOWN, and makes a community a more attractive place to live? (and I’m not just making this up.  There are people whose jobs are to work on this sort of research.  Check it out:  The Center for Rural Affairs has a lot of info on this stuff.  Part 1  Part 3 – and if you like what you see from those 2 articles… go poke around that website.  It’s amazing.  And there is more than just that website.  That’s just the tip of the iceburg)

Second, Without a local grocery store that means:  The revenue that our food purchases generate goes ELSEWHERE…

Third, I haven’t talked a lot about the implications of that because, well, I have a tendency to get caught up about the beauty and that I see in a local store.
But, this money piece is kind of a big deal. And it’s a big deal because it’s something that directly effects a town and that residents have absolute control over (which is nice when you consider how little we have control over).

Fourth…. I know people plan shopping trips fairly well, but that has been born of necessity and I would argue that when gently asked to re-examine how well that planning truly is, there are still many times when an unexpected trip must be made to the grocery or a frantic phone call is made to a friend/relative to please pick up something while they are In Town.  Or it’s another night of Creative Dinner(!)

What’s scary though….”The lack of a grocery store means residents have less access to healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, and the elderly and others without reliable transportation will tend to buy their food at convenience stores with more limited selections or go for longer periods of time between visits to the store.”  – CFRA

(just so you know.  This happens in CA too.  All. The. Time)

There’s an amazing organization called Slow Money that is putting their money where their mouths and hearts are… One of their questions about our world is this:

What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?

Think about it.

And lastly… Let’s talk about how fun it is to travel and plan all the time to have access to a real grocery store.   And by fun.  I mean.  It’s not fun.

That’s another post for tomorrow….  (about my daughter’s birthday dinner while we were in Illinois.)

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