Building our community through volunteering and “buying local” (Poll)

As the economy continues to sputter, many  local businesses are struggling. Cost cutting and "special offers" can only do so much to keep the lights on. The locally owned independent business men and women of Kirkland work hard to compete for your business. Big box stores and online retailers are sometimes difficult to compete against. More and more folks are considering how they can to do their part to support of their local economy.

When considering where to do your shopping this season, think about this statistic:

For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home.

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Most would agree that a healthy local business district benefits us all and a tired, unsuccessful business district is a detriment to the community. Thriving businesses fill the city coffers with tax revenues which help pay for our police, fire and parks. So when choosing where to spend your money, consider spending it locally, where it most helps our community.

Building a sense of community

Our local businesses are an integral part of our community. They are big supporters of our local charities by donating their time and treasure. They hire our neighbors. They help fund our city services. The residents and the businesses of Kirkland have a symbiotic relationship - we need each other. Together we are part and parcel of what we love about Kirkland.

As a frequent diner, shopper and dog walker, nary a day goes by when I don't see a dozen folks I know around town. They are my neighbors, merchants and friends. My wife and I cherish the sense of community we have here in Kirkland. It is a real treat to know the folks who work at the diners, the corner jewelry store, the banks, the hotels, the bakeries and the coffee shops around town. There is something special about the quality of life we all share here in Kirkland.

We are often asked by our friends how we know so many folks around town. One surefire way to get to know folks is to get involved. Neighborhood picnics, local charities, city boards and commissions, seniors in need, event staff, decorating the town with holiday lights... these are all opportunities for you to volunteer and get to know your neighbors. There is no better way to break the ice and meet someone new than to spend a little time shoulder to shoulder chipping in and giving a hand.

One thing about giving back to our community is guaranteed: you will receive far more than you give.