(Photo | Courtesy of White Water Taphouse)
After the holidays settle down and the new year approaches, a commitment to supporting our local economy should begin right at the new year. Shopping at small businesses, learning about our nonprofits and getting informed about local government should be number one on everyone’s 2019 resolution list.
10. Find out what new businesses are opening in 2019 right away. From Madras to La Pine, each city and county records and publicizes new restaurants and retail businesses opening throughout the year. Plan to visit them.
9. Eat small. There are only so many restaurants in Central Oregon, however there are a lot of new and upcoming food trucks hidden in corners and streets all over town. Visit one of the many food truck lots in town and search out those that are new and unique, you may be surprised.
8. Support small performance and independent movie theaters. While Bend is lucky enough to get mainstream movies and Broadway performances on this side of the mountain, keeping our independent theaters running is important for our community and its performers. Looking for a particular documentary or foreign film? Check the local listing at the Tin Pan Theater — one of Bend’s best kept secrets.
7. Because of yearly rent increases, several businesses in Bend have to move to other parts of the city or another city all together. When this happens, find out when and where the move is and let your friends and family know. Some small businesses don’t have the funds to advertise a move. Help them out by getting the word out.
6. Go to charity events. Central Oregon nonprofit organizations thrive on their fundraising events. Both big and small, these events are not only fun, they help raise money for organizations that don’t exist outside our counties. You can find all these events in several publications throughout the year.
5. Drink local! With the plethora of local distilleries and breweries, drinking local as much as possible not only pumps money into our economy, it makes us all a bit happier.
4. Attend a local business group, chamber of commerce or government meeting. These meetings are not only informative, they allow the public to discuss important changes in our cities whether it’s a new law, new city regulation or important topics relating to our school districts.
3. Buy and read local magazines and newspapers. Our community is a community of writers and readers. Whether you have to purchase or pick it up at a local business, these periodicals are small businesses themselves and employ people who spend a lot of time and effort writing material that informs, educates and entertains.
2. Visit our parks and museums. Central Oregon has amazing and beautiful parks for people and animals and relies on us as visitors. There is so much to explore in our area. The High Desert Museum is a wonderful place not just for history and local wildlife, it features local artists from all over the state with new installations all year round.
1. The number one thing to support our local economy is to always shop small. It’s easy to buy gift cards at large chains because they’re available just about anywhere you go. Our small retail shops and restaurants need our support year-round to thrive. There are several small businesses with hand crafted, locally made items that have the perfect gift for any occasion. When visiting another city in our area – shop and eat local. It matters!