I have a little gift for you now that Christmas is on the horizon. It’s a charming little package, buildings boxed together in fun little squares, one wide market street and a couple of schools spilling out children, as they laugh and play and grow. You’ll find it sprinkled here and there with colourful maple trees and all kinds of houses, big and tall ones, short and small ones, all of them nestled between two rushing rivers. This gift is ready and waiting for you to explore, and it is called Grand Forks.
In the next few weeks, I’d love to show you little parts of it – mainly, it’s new and young entrepreneurs. Why, you ask? I could tell you all kinds of statistics to support why you should shop local, I could try to convince you with numbers. You might have heard them somewhere, you’ve probably read them. It goes something like this: money spent at a local business generates 3.5X more wealth for the local economy than when you shop at those big box stores.
But this is the heart of what I think: Grand Forks is worth unwrapping.
I want you to see it as a Christmas gift.
And I want you to experience the joy of being part of something – the warmth of connecting in a place where people wave and say hi to you on the street. Where business owners know each other and do their best to help each other out. Where things like floods and fires bring out the everyday heroes and everyone sticks together to get each other through to the other side. Where you can make a difference by investing in it.
Maybe this year you could forgo the big shopping malls and the easy, no thinking kinds of gifts that are so quick to be forgotten, and instead shop local. Yes, that is my challenge to you: shop local.
Because when you do, you’ll only make Grand Forks warmer. More appealing. More investable and stronger. A town worth unwrapping and one where you just might find a home.
Stay tuned for our first day of Grand Forks Christmas gifts on Thursday!