Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Local Business Rocks! What Local Biz Do You Love, and Why?

I read today that large retailers like WalMart are starting to release their Black Friday sales items and prices. It kind of made me nauseous because - unlike WalMart - I still remember this news story.

Supporting small businesses has always been important to me. But now that Emerson's father runs a small business, Cheers Wine & Beverage, and the economy is in the tank, it's even more important for me to support local small businesses.

I thought about my family's support of local businesses. I really took stock. And in the end, I concluded that we pretty much buy everything local - except utilities and some groceries.

Our housing came from a local property owner; our child went to a locally-owned day care (and now to a local public school); our furniture is all from local re-sellers (I'm obsessed with bargain hunting); our mattresses are from a North Augusta discount store; our appliances are from local re-sellers; Emmie's clothes are almost all from local re-sellers and consignment stores; I can't remember the last time we ate at a chain restaurant; and when we purchase entertainment - unless it's a movie - it's Le Chat Noir, the Augusta Players or the Augusta GreenJackets. What's left? Oh, I do work for a non-local employer, a division of the state of Georgia. But it's a state agency that puts $2 billion into the local economy, so whatever. I wish there was a locally owned grocery store in a reasonable distance that I trusted. I’ve tried the IGAs but I’m just not sure about them. I love Asian Choice, but it doesn't carry everything I need.

So I'd like to recommend some locally owned Augusta and Aiken businesses we love! I guarantee that in almost every circumstance, you'll find better service, more original products, and your money will stay local. 
I’ll forget to include some businesses, but correct me, please! There are a few I’m leaving off because of personal reasons (don’t pay their bills/employees/taxes; staff or service is unpredictable; bad interactions with them). You may love them, but I may not be on the same page - yet. I always give a local biz another shot, unlike some of the national chains’ stores in the area (I’m talking to YOU, Old Navy) who can’t get it right.

I hope this holiday season that you will consider eschewing the big box retail establishments that undermine the American economy by alternately price fixing and price gouging.

Shopping & Gifts - Learning Express Toys, Art on Broad (gifts, art), Posh Tots (children’s clothes), The Swank Co. (awesome gifts and home stuff), Asian Choice (groceries), Barter Books (used books), Mainstream Boutique (adult clothes), Lolliops on Baston Road (children’s clothes), Ready to Wear Again (clothes and vintage jewelry), Tire City Potters (art, gifts), Rock Bottom Music (lessons, gifts), Hill Drug Store (where we fill all of our prescriptions; they were one of only two stores that had Tamiflu last year when Em had swine flu), Barney’s Drug Store (our emergency back-up; the other that carried Tamiflu)

What local businesses do you love, and why?


  1. Also for local entertainment - Storyland Theatre and Aiken Community Playhouse

  2. Excellent point! Perhaps also the RiverHawks and the Augusta State University Theatre Program.