Letter: 'Shop local' doesn't just mean retail
- Monday, 05 March 2012
- Written by Brady Gilbert
By Brady Gilbert, president of the Greater T.R. Chamber of Commerce:
TRAVELERS REST, S.C. -- These days, you hear more and more about the benefits of shopping locally. More money stays in your community. You help the business thrive and succeed, keeping our neighbors employed and the storefront occupied. Understand, however, that this doesn't just apply to Travelers Rest's wonderful restaurants and retail shops.
(Editor's note: Click here to see the Tribune's "Buy Local" directory.)
On my first day at Furman University, Nations Bank was on the front step of the Student Center signing up students with new accounts. They were the only ATM on campus, so they had easy pickings at hundreds of eager freshmen. Over the last 19 years, I've had few complaints with Nations Bank, which is now Bank of America.
When I became President of the Chamber, however, I had to re-evaluate my relationship with the bank. They are one of the only major banks without a presence in our town (aside from a withdrawl-only ATM), and I didn't feel that they are really giving anything back to our community.
The banks that we do have in town do a great job of supporting our community events and our Chamber of Commerce. Bank of Travelers Rest, TD Bank, SunTrust, and Palmetto Bank have all played active roles in our community, supporting local events, festivals, and awards (e.g. Bank of Travelers Rest sponsors the annual "Citizen of the Year" award for the Chamber, and TD Bank sponsors the "Business Person of the Year").
I really felt that it was time for me to make a change, and I'm glad to now be with one of our wonderful, local banks, supporting those who support me and my community.
March 13 is the Business Person of the Year banquet, one of our two evening meetings of the year, sponsored by TD Bank. It will be hosted at Green Valley, and RSVP's are due to Mindy Edwards (834-2733) by March 7.
Our guest speaker will be Dr. Rodney Smolla, President of Furman University.
Please come join us as we celebrate a business person who is actively supporting the Greater Travelers Rest community.
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