This week includes the first birthday party of the year where I need to purchase a gift.
But here's my resolution for 2009: when I have the option of purchasing something, I will do it in Youngstown. exclusively.
in fact, here are some other tips to purchasing, that if in aggregate 10,000 of us perform, will have an impact on both the city's finances and will continue the existence of basic services. (please read to the bottom of this post)
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1. Do not shop at the new Wal-Mart in Liberty township for groceries ever. Make the 0.45 mile drive and shop at the Sparkle Market on Gypsy Lane instead.
2. No gift cards for Chili's, iTunes, Lowe's, GetGo, etc. will be purchased and distributed this year. I will only purchase gift certificates for locally-owned city restaurants like Cafe Cimmento (who advertise in downtown theater programs), Casa Ramirez, Scarsella's Restaurant, Charlie Staples, The Palm, Avalon Gardens, etc. Then when they are redeemed, my guests of my friends will act as multipliers.
3. When I stop for gas, I will drive past the gas stations on the west side of Meridian Road, and purchase petrol on the Youngstown side of Mahoning Ave. Local purchases increase the chance that these basic functions will remain in the city.
4. Dry cleaning, jewelry shopping, shoe repair, haircuts, grocery shopping will all be done in the city now, even if it means the small sacrifice of scheduling an appointment or driving an extra mile. Services will disappear unless we use them consistently.
5. I will never ever ever eat at Olive Garden, especially with the glorious abundance of local italian restaurants with their fresh and homemade pasta.
some may see this Declaration "of Independents" as being against the suburbs. not true.
some services, such as watching a newly-released movie, you can only do in the suburbs. but where gems exist, please continue to patronize your local hardware store, your neighborhood mechanic, the Armando's, the Jimmy's, and the Hot Dog Shoppe's of this world:
But when pulling into the parking lot of a Giant Eagle, a Bob Evans, a FastLube, or even a Pizza Hut, please ask yourself:
could I be doing this in Youngstown?
re-circulating money within the community?
keeping essential city services alive?
providing benefits to your friends and neighbors?
let's do it.