Afew years ago, I sat in a town council meeting and listened to a local business owner complain that he was going out of business because area consumers didn't support him.
As Payson grows, I've heard other business people echo this cry, suggesting they deserve local patronage simply because they set up shop here.
But that's no way to do business.
It's not the customer's responsibility to keep local businesses in the black; it's our responsibility as business owners to provide our customers with the value, products and service they can't get anywhere else.
Attention to quality is especially important in a place such as Payson, where the nearest big-city competitors are only an hour and a half away.
But while large-scale selection gives Valley businesses an advantage, so, too, does the small, personal size of most local businesses.
Here we can provide our customers with intimate shopping settings and highly personalized service.
We know our regular customers by name. We know what they like and how they like things done before they ask. We know how to treat people -- before and after a sale. We know the value of a trusted reputation in a town where word of mouth can make or break a business.
Successful local business owners understand this. They know their next customer could be their neighbor, their child's teacher, someone who works with their husband or wife, or the new pastor of their church. They take every opportunity to shine.
But, unfortunately, some do not.
Today (Friday) is the first day of the Christmas shopping season. We encourage our readers to delve into the treasures that our local businesses have to offer.
Shopping locally is good for our economy. It creates jobs and generates tax revenues for our community. We all benefit when we patronize shops owned by our friends and neighbors. But there's nothing wrong with asking them to work for our business.
Richard Haddad, Publisher