There are many slogans in support of utilizing local business. Shop local. Eat local. Locovore. My Dad owned his own business. My husband grew up in the small business we now own. My children all worked in our business and now work for family-owned or small businesses here in Grand Rapids. I've grown up knowing the impact of 'shop local'. Grand Rapids is blessed with so many small businesses. From furniture making to restaurants, we have some of the best. Our service industry is also full of electricians, plumbers, auto and collision repair. Many of the local business commercials on TV highlight the fact that they are family owned and operated. Some of the places have grown to sell nationally and internationally. Meijer, GFS, Amway, Steelcase etc. all started as local businesses. Why does this matter? Anyone can read the statistics about the impact shopping local has on the economy of your area. To me, it's personal. We pay our employees who then purchase goods and services in our area. When we as a company are able to use a local supplier or service provider, which is always our first choice. We are fortunate to share our experiences with customers who start their own business. A coffee roaster that makes a difference, a new janitorial company that is committed to impacting others positively. Watching these people achieve their dream and make our area an even better place to live is a bonus. As we approach the holidays, keep the ‘shop local’ slogan in mind. Supporting community and giving back is what Grand Rapids is built on.