"For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people's love and concern for each other." ---Millard Fuller
Let’s lighten things up a bit. No talk about taxes, financing, or capital projects. We are approaching the Holiday Season and anyone who knows me, knows this is truly the “most wonderful time of the year!” I love everything about Christmas except the commercialization of this holiday. One way to help me cope with this fact is by staying in Brentwood (as much as I can) when I do my holiday shopping. It is a nice feeling to think that as I shop or go out to dinner in Brentwood, I am, in a small way, supporting my community. Not only am I supporting local business, but there are a lot of residual personal benefits as well. I save a ton of time by not having to drive all over the place. I do not have to sit through that holiday traffic (45 minutes to drive from Brentwood to South Hills Village?!). I save a lot by purchasing my items at a local business. Just compare the cost of a Steeler shirt from Dick’s or Macy’s with the same item purchased from Definitely You. Also, with all of the visiting, the shopping, and last minute decorating, who has time to cook anymore? Stopping off at one of the “Chain Restaurants” is fine if you have 30 minutes to kill just to get seated. After a long day of decorating and trimming the tree, me and the Bird (my wife Michelle) will walk up to Dante’s for some excellent food, a cocktail, and some cool tunes and unwind and enjoy the season.
I would hate for either of the two businesses to leave Brentwood, or any of the numerous other quaint and valuable businesses we are fortunate to have here in town. As such, I am going to ask everyone to one favor this year. As you are out and about doing your shopping, buying gifts or that roast beast, please consider doing so right here in Brentwood first. You would be surprised to discover that you may be able to complete a majority of your holiday gift shopping without leaving town. With the price of gasoline you may even save a few bucks as well as time. The “Buy Brentwood” campaign began last year when the Brentwood Borough Council adopted a resolution asking everyone to consider Brentwood “first” when shopping during the holiday season. The "Buy Brentwood" campaign is dedicated to increasing visibility and prosperity of Brentwood Borough’s locally owned and operated independent businesses through a grassroots campaign of education and publicity.
One of Brentwood Borough’s most important, but under-utilized qualities, is its unique array of locally owned and operated, independent businesses. Supporting locally owned and operated, independent businesses is in the best interest of the Brentwood community because those businesses are part of the traditions and heritage of Brentwood Borough and are critical to maintaining a socially, environmentally and financially sustainable local economy. These businesses help to sustain a vibrant, compact walkable Borough that is essential to the sustainability of Brentwood by reducing sprawl, automobile use, and air and water pollution. Our business owners and operators are committed to Brentwood Borough, contribute to the local economy, offer quality jobs for our citizens, engage in civic concerns and are essential to our success as a community. Did you know that for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the local community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures? Spend that online and $0 comes home! This concept goes with Brentwood’s 3/50 project. That is where you pick 3 of your favorite businesses in the community each month and spend $50 at each. We hope that this Resolution and Initiative will create that awareness that will make you more cognizant of stopping by “Keeners Hardware” for that new garden hose or ladder rather than one of the big box stores. Or opting to pick up that box of holiday candy at “Goodeelicious” rather than going to the mall (and subsequently paying more). The “Buy Brentwood” initiative doesn’t mean swearing off all chains or franchises. I get a “Mac Attack” every so often as well. It promotes “balance” of the money you currently spend each month and to possibly choose a local independent owned business or restaurant first. Just as there are things in a locally owned store that you can’t find in a big box, there are also things in a big box you can’t find in a locally owned store (that special customer service for one thing.) We simply need to think about where our dollars are best invested, consider the greater amount of revenue local businesses return to the community, then purchase accordingly. Otherwise, local economies suffer irreparable harm. So this Holiday Season, let’s start by first giving back to the Community in which we live by supporting those businesses that help make Brentwood such a great place to live.
On behalf of my wife Michelle, may you all have a wonderful Christmas and prosperous New Year!!
George Zboyovsky, PE