Ya Mama Shops Here
Just as many of New Orleans' locally owned businesses are handed down from generation to generation, so too are business recommendations passed along, word-of-mouth, from mother to daughter, father to son, friend to friend. In most US cities, shopping is an impersonal experience and transactions are purely financial. Not so in New Orleans, where your haircut comes with a history lesson, your contractor is a font of culinary wisdom, and the cab driver giving you a lift today may be the musician you go out to see tonight.
Beyond sound economics, there are cultural reasons to invest our local dollars in local businesses. Across the country communities are lamenting the destruction of local culture. New Orleans, thankfully, has maintained a cultural richness admired by tourists from across the globe. We can listen to WWOZ, we can pick up Hubig's Pies at checkout counters, we can eat po-boys and listen to local musicians draw upon an unbroken chain of tradition every night of the week. And in the morning, if we don't feel like coffee from Starbuck's we have a plethora of homegrown alternatives. We can even bank with local banks! Choosing to spend locally supports local talent and local culture.