[r54] Keep It Local (4/5/2010)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Start Date: 4/5/2010 All Day
End Date: 4/5/2010

Sometimes, the government can seem like the only option available to help businesses through this tough economic time.

If you listened to the governor's State of the State address, the president's State of the Union address, or the news, it often sounds like the only way to bring the economy back, is to keep adjusting the tax rates until something magically 'clicks' and employers are able to hire workers again.

What no one is saying, is the fact that Hoosiers are actually the ones with the power to grow Hoosier jobs.

Take for instance, every time you travel to the nearest big box store or to a brand-name store in a bigger city for your groceries, you are probably sending your money across state lines to their corporate headquarters. Indiana will never see a dime of that profit; instead, a CEO in another state will receive it and spread it among the thousands of branches of that grocery chain.

When you shop locally for groceries, however, you are directly supporting the Hoosier store owner and the Hoosier employees. Shopping locally even supports your local government through the taxes that store pays.

Over the past year, our area has seen several businesses close their doors or relocate outside our community. Whenever possible, we must frequent our local restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, hardware stores and car dealerships, or we can expect to see more 'out of business' signs from our local vendors.

Just recently, I was saddened to hear our local theatre, The Castle, will be closing its doors after 75 years of serving our community. The last showing was last Thursday, featuring Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel.

As someone who values Indiana history, I have always appreciated our theatre for its impact on our community's past. The building itself is full of history: the 1940s aerial map of Downtown New Castle is still displayed in the lobby and the Riley Children's Hospital plaque still hangs outside the box office to ensure residents that money from the theatre was still going to the hospital.

Many residents agree with me in saying how sad we all are to see the theatre close. Many of us grew up going to movies in that theatre. 

Businesses like The Castle are historic treasures to New Castle and the Henry County area and it is our responsibility to support them in hopes of avoiding more closings.  

Unfortunately, this is not the only case of such news. We also remember when the two car dealerships, Ford and Heritage Auto left town, along with Goody's. I did, however, hear some good news recently about Goody's possibly coming back into town.

In June, our community took a hit again when the auto parts manufacturer Metaldyne left town and took many jobs with them.

The New Castle plant, which produced parts for Chrysler, was one of our largest employers until it closed its doors. At the time of the announcement, the plant had been operating with only 80 workers after it previously laid off more than 300 workers. 

Here's the bottom line: when we go to the bigger cities around our small community, our money follows. We are running our local vendors and shops out of business by spending elsewhere.

I understand that our community might not have played a factor in the reasons for the businesses that left town. Nevertheless, we can learn something from these experiences and continue to support our local businesses to ensure they stay local. 

If you have any questions or concerns, I always encourage you to contact me so I can help you in any way I can. You can contact me by e-mail at h54@in.gov, by phone at 1-800-382-9841 or by writing me at the Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.