Shop local campaigns have always felt a little strange to us. As much as we like the concept and think it is a sound bit of advice to promote local interests, when the shoe is on the other foot, it stings a bit.
That is an impressive number, to say the least, and is likely one of the reasons an area with our high unemployment levels and extreme poverty is not doing worse. We do provide quality products and quality shopping experiences for Mexicali residents, and it shows by those numbers. Mexicali residents interviewed earlier this week come here for certain things for that very reason — the quality.
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If suddenly those Mexican shoppers stopped coming into our area, the effect would be serious. Most of the things we enjoy here are supported by dollars from a constantly developing middle class in Mexicali, where jobless numbers are low. The Imperial Valley Mall simply could not exist on our patronage alone, and the Calexico Wal-Mart Supercenter has routinely been cited as one of the highest-earning stores of its kind in the United States. Again, Mexicali’s effect.
Every new development that requires a feasibility study or that requires economic and marketing research factors in the Mexicali effect, one that is very real.
Several months back a new local business advocacy group began to promote keeping shopping local, and again that is a great idea. But it went too far to get local governments to codify such a concept.
The same way we cringe at the protectionist leanings of Canaco in Mexicali, we cringe at the protectionist ideology at work in Imperial County. Local shopping is necessary, we believe, as a means of good stewardship of one’s community, but it’s not required. When the shoe’s on the other foot, that becomes ever more clear.
Mexicali promotes its own local shopping.
Campaign shows the flaws in our own.
WHAT DO YOU SAY?
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