Yesterday, I had some shopping to do. I hoped I could get all of what I needed in Chetek, but wasn’t sure if I would have to run to Rice Lake. I try to shop Chetek whenever possible. Well, yesterday, I was so pleased because everything I needed was available in Chetek.

We are so fortunate to have a hardware store, pharmacy and, of course, 10 retail shops, all offering unique items from clothing, gift items and more for sale. However, if we as residents in Chetek don’t support our local businesses, we will find that we have to run to Rice Lake or Eau Claire for what we need.

Some say, well, items here are more expensive, and sometimes that is true. But what about the gas expense, wear and tear on our cars and the inconvenience? And when you leave one of our local shops, you have done something for the community. You have made a difference you can feel good about. When you leave a big-box store, it doesn’t make a difference to their bottom line, but to our shops here, it means staying in business or not, especially now in the current economy.

For about every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payrolls and other expenditures. Spend online and nothing returns home. And what’s more, online doesn’t pay for advertising for our water ski team, ball teams and high school events. Think about which three shops you’d miss if they were gone. Stop in, say thank you and pick up a little something that will make someone happy. Your contribution is what keeps these businesses around. Happy shopping in Chetek!

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