‘Buy local’ is more important than ever after the Sonoma, Napa fires

Brad Bollinger is publisher of the North Bay Business Journal. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat) Santa Rosa, California, June 26, 2013



There are many imperatives in the wake of the catastrophic firestorms in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake and Solano counties. One should be: buy local.

We do not yet know the precise degree of economic dislocation caused by this disaster. But we know that we lost businesses and many hundreds of jobs. And we know many businesses were shut down for several days. Normal spending patterns clearly were disrupted and no one knows how much.

All this means there are likely fewer dollars than normal circulating in the community.

Willie Tamayo, whose family founded and built La Tortilla Factory in Santa Rosa into one of the leading wrap- and tortilla-makers in the U.S., made this very point Wednesday at the unveiling of Rebuild North Bay initiative, attended by hundreds of business and community leaders.

Now more than ever, he said, we need everyone in our communities to buy local to support local business and the people they employ.

This can be done in ways small and not so small.

At Keysight Technologies in Santa Rosa, there was a need after fires for some new workstations. A global company, it could have purchased the equipment anywhere. But it purchased it locally from Trope Group in Santa Rosa.

“Trope Group is extremely grateful that Keysight chose to call on us to assist in setting up new temporary facilities at this time,” said President Christina Pratt. “They are doing business with local companies like ours — giving North Bay families hope, (and work) and setting an example by being a great member of this community by helping to rebuild the local economy.”

Let’s heed La Tortilla Factory’s and Keysight’s leadership. Buy what you need from businesses that have a local presence. That can be a CVS store — it employs local people too — or a locally owned pizza restaurant. Just keep it local.

Amazon won’t miss us for a while.