Shopping local may be hip these days, but there’s a reason for it’s popularity. Focusing your spending on small, local businesses allows our community to support itself. At The Guitar Trader, we understand the importance of keeping it local, especially in the digital age. While many small merchants have modernized and offer online sales (have you seen our beautiful, new website?), focusing entirely on digital sales undermines the purpose and power of local businesses.

The whole situation is a Catch 22. If small businesses ignore the possibilities of online sales, they may not be able to stay in business, and thus won’t be able to support their neighbors. If small businesses go completely online, they strip themselves of their greatest advantage over national competitors: the personalized, face-to-face understanding of their market and customers’ needs. Not only that, but physical stores serve as community hubs in which people can meet, say hello, and genuinely network.

Are small businesses doomed? Hardly. Across Asheville and beyond, local businesses are refining their efforts and encouraging our community to shop local. Businesses are also investing in online retail, but with balance in mind. The Guitar Trader may have stepped into the modern age by building a new website, but we’ll always be a quirky community hub, staffed by experts, at your service.

Want to learn more about shopping local? Check out Asheville Grown. Got something to say about this article? Post your comment below. Thanks!

This article was written by Asheville based musician, songwriter, and shophand, Jackson Emmer.