Letter: Family-owned businesses make Columbus unique

From: Doug Foster


Most communities are sprinkled with local family-owned businesses among the “big box” stores and franchises. As a small-business owner for over 30 years, I’ve been blessed to work, play and raise a family in Columbus. I’m also lucky enough to network, volunteer and share ideas with other owners just like me, and they all feel fortunate to be a part of the area economies.

According to Independent We Stand, a small-business advocate, local businesses reinvest in the local community 60 percent more than chains. I’ve personally witnessed this investment at local ball fields, gymnasiums and countless community events and fundraisers. Our local businesses not only contribute financially but with considerable time and effort!

Our local business owners work hard every day to compete, with each other and the big businesses, to earn your business. Competition is a huge part of life and our culture in general and usually serves to raise the bar of everyone involved, especially in business!

When possible, we hope that you will choose local businesses over large franchises. Should you tolerate shoddy service, surly attitude or significantly higher prices just to support a local business? Absolutely not! Heck you can find that anywhere. However, small-business owners would at least like the chance to work with our neighbors.

I’ve lived in Columbus most of my life and am still finding hidden gems of competent and well-run local shops and services. So, the next time you are in your car squabbling over where to eat or where to shop, and before planning that next trip out of town, consider what keeping your dollars in the community would mean. You will not only be helping local business owners, but also your neighbors that work at our local businesses. These businesses are one of the many things that make Columbus unique.