Northwest Missourian Opinion

Kool Kats announced Nov. 5 on Facebook the company is returning to a seasonal business model, cutting off access to their shaved ice for the coming cold months.

This frosty development is likely because of two reasons. First, getting cold, shaved ice in the middle of winter is the last thing someone should be doing when trying to stay warm. Second, local businesses like Kool Kats needs more support to be successful. Kool Kats owner Dave Ackman said in an interview with Northwest Missourian Community News Editor Kendrick Calfee that this decision is in part due to a 70% sales drop within four weeks of the start of the winter months.

There’s a plethora of reasons to get off of your couch, go out and shop local and not solely shop online or at large, chain companies, so buckle up.

Hands down the best aspect about local businesses is that they provide a significantly more enjoyable shopping experience for customers. Local businesses provide unique, interesting goods and services chain companies can’t compare to.

Take The Broken Mug. It’s not everyday you run into a coffee shop that also offers haircuts. You’re not going to be able to get a haircut at Starbucks, and even if you could, they’d probably call it Starcuts, which sounds like the worst place to get a haircut.

Shopping local also results in actual meaningful interactions. Employees at chain companies have no incentive to provide an enjoyable shopping experience, and even if it’s a part of the company’s motto, we all know they’re not paid enough to care.

On the other hand, local business employees do whatever they can to ensure the customer is happy. This is due to the company's true need for local support and the fact that local companies want to invest in the community.

Local businesses are often owned by locals or people who enjoy the community. As a result, they genuinely want to make the community a better place for everyone living there. These companies provide great programs for the community, connection and networking opportunities for students, and tend to operate far more ethically than larger companies.

Not to mention, supporting local shops is going to make new local companies coming to Maryville far more likely. It doesn’t take an economist to realize why that’s a good thing: we might have a new business in town that’s not a fourth Casey’s. We know, mind-blowing.

Next time you need a haircut, check out Guys and Dolls, the haircut place within The Broken Mug. If you’re hungry for a yummy dinner but don’t want to get off the couch, Happy Garden delivers. Later this season while you’re out shopping for fun Christmas presents, check out the Student Body and Minnie Lane.

It’s never too late to start shopping local, so ditch Amazon and one-click buy — it’ll be better for your impulse shopping problem and provide so much more.

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