Alaskans want a way out of the state’s current deficit spending situation, and one will be forthcoming; it has to be.
But, in the meantime, there’s something that every Alaskan can do immediately to help the state and the communities — buy local.
Gov. Bill Walker says he intends to begin a “buy local” campaign in the state. It isn’t an original idea, as Walker acknowledges, but it’s one that can be effective in Alaskans supporting Alaskans and Alaska.
Ketchikan periodically pushes “buy local,” often during the Christmas gift-buying-and-giving season. It will come up at other times, too; for example, when the Alaska Permanent Fund checks are distributed by the state to Alaskans annually in October.
The biggest competition for many Alaska businesses is Internet shopping. Internet-based companies make it easy; it isn’t necessary to go out in the rain, burn automobile fuel, wait in lines or really move more than one’s fingers. To get from store to store is a matter of a few key strokes.
That’s convenience. But, it has its down sides. First, it burns next to no calories. Second, and more seriously, it sends Alaska’s dollars to support jobs and economies in other states, which undoubtedly they appreciate.
But, it’s our state and our community economies in need of the money. Our communities have bills to pay — public safety, infrastructure such as water and sewer lines, highway and road maintenance, providing utilities. It all costs, and every time we buy local, we support our own services. Businesses can pay their share for these community necessities, too, when we do business with them.
Certainly, many items are available and are purchased locally. But some items or services simply aren’t available in smaller towns and cities. But they might be in larger Alaska cities. And, of course, they are in other states.
But making every effort to buy local is like putting savings into our own account instead of into someone else’s. That’s what Alaska needs to do now more than ever.
— Ketchikan Daily News,