by Karole Passmore, GWC
For years, buying local has been a cornerstone of the GoWayneCounty.com message. Highlighting new and firmly planted local businesses and local events is what we love to do. We also know that buying local strengthens our economy and supports families who provide services we all need and enjoy, and we care because this is where we live.
Many years ago Jack Humphrey, founder and editor of GoWayneCounty.com, made the decision to return to Richmond after years of being away at college and then for his career in environmental and non-profit leadership.
Upon returning to his home town, his endeavors to highlight all the good things happening in Wayne County began with the question, which also was the editorial article in our first print edition “What is there to do in Wayne County?” And he soon learned there was a lot. So much that at times he and later all of us working for GWC had a hard time keeping up with everything.
GWC is a family affair and many of the hours we spend at events and writing are donated time we give to support the community where we live, work and play.
We value the hard work that local businesses put in each day, long after many have finished their eight or nine hour shifts. If you look into shops downtown or in the Depot district on any given night you may see a light in the back where merchants are meeting to discuss a new idea, or they may be building or remodeling, designing, cooking or cleaning up after a late catering job.
Our family understands this hard work because for Jack and his wife Constance Humphrey, this is how they live as well. Their work owning businesses and running them from their home offices will often entail working seven days a week. Even at family gatherings, Jack will often be seen checking in with partners or clients on his phone that never leaves his side. Customer service is key for them in their line of work. And at some point, all of us have owned our own businesses in our family.
So when we think of the holidays and who we will support, our family feels it is imperative to support the small businesses that are local and often family-owned. And there are many of them to choose from. Downtown alone there are several new store fronts that have opened to the public in the past 2-6 months. And all of them opened after weeks of hard manual labor, and a lack of sleep for the owners who have had a dream and want to share that with their community.
The Depot District in Richmond is also a hot bed of local merchants as well as Wayne County towns from Centerville through Cambridge City and Hagerstown. New businesses are popping up that are providing food, entertainment, art, gifts, jobs, and so much more. They are offering a vision for what it means to work hard and achieve a dream. One day they woke up and said “I want to do this for my community” knowing that it was a risk, knowing it would take an inordinate amount of time and physical effort. And yet they pushed through with their dream- and they are open.
And now it is our responsibility as a community to welcome them and embrace their dream as well. They are the backbone of our communities offering high quality products that are selected, made and served with the highest of ideals.
So this holiday season, and all year round, remember that making a difference in our community means keeping our support local as much as possible so we can keep these unique shops in the business of providing excellent services for all of us to enjoy.
Please check back with GoWayneCounty.com regularly to hear more about the wonderful choices we have for shopping local.
Karole Passmore is a freelance writer who enjoys writing articles and short stories, interviewing local people, and researching non-fiction subject matter– preferably historical. Graduate of RHS, Ivy Tech Richmond, and Earlham College– with a major in History, Karole has spent most of her life in Wayne County and enjoys the quaint atmosphere of a small town.
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