Guest Column: Locally-owned businesses make a difference
Guest Column by Lee Wiese
Lee Wiese is a Curt’s Corner Pharmacy long-term care liaison.
The latest trend is to shop locally-owned businesses. We’ve been told that doing so will stimulate the local economy and grow the community; it will be good for Albert Lea and her citizens. Take Curt’s Corner Pharmacy, for example, to appreciate the multiple benefits choosing a locally owned and operated business truly does have, not only for the community at large, but more importantly, on you, the individual consumer.
At Curt’s, improved health is the primary goal. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once stated, “Drugs don’t work in patients who don’t take them.” Studies have shown that nearly two-thirds of Americans who take medications don’t take them properly. Curt’s is the only local pharmacy that provides multi-dose packaging of your medications. Multi-dose packaging is not only the safest, but also the most convenient form of packaging. Whether the prescriptions are for yourself, or for a loved one you are managing medications for, Curt’s can pre-package medications customized to meet your personal needs, saving you time and preventing medication errors and accidents.
A common misconception among consumers is that pricing will automatically be higher at small, local pharmacies compared to corporate-owned stores of any size. However, the truth is most insurance plans determine price and it is usually the same, wherever you go. Additionally, some pharmacies have a discount incentive program similar to the discount programs chain stores tout as exclusive to them. For senior citizens who are Medicare beneficiaries, many pharmacies partner with Medicare Part D programs. For all other consumers, be reassured that no one understands frugal more than small business owners, so many will happily match prices of other businesses in town.
Best customer service
Customer care in smaller businesses is considered to be superior by many. When you contact most with a question or concern, you won’t call a 1-800 number, be transferred and put on hold for several minutes. You will speak directly with someone at the actual business. Your concerns will be handled promptly, professionally and in a friendly manner because you are our neighbor, friend and fellow community member, and your satisfaction matters greatly.
Improved local economy
According to a study by the 3/50 Project, “For every $100 you spend at a locally owned business, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other routine expenditures. If you spend that same $100 at a chain store, roughly only $43 stays local; spend it on line, and nothing comes back home.”
Local business owners themselves are more likely to utilize other locally-owned companies such as banks, service providers, small manufacturers and retailers for their own personal and professional needs, further growing the local economy. Beyond actual dollars being kept in Albert Lea, studies show small business owners are also more likely to do good for their community. Local business owners know you and you know them; they are more accountable to their communities and donate more money to local non-profits. They care and have the ability to make independent business decisions to help you and your community, because it is their community too, the one they chose to set up shop and live in.
Embrace what makes our community unique
When you support locally-owned businesses, you get a superior level of service, as well as the satisfaction of helping to make our community a better place to live. Locally owned and operated businesses are run by our neighbors who care about us, and are invested in the well-being of our community and its future.