Forget Big Boxes! Five (pretty sweet) Reasons for Keeping Your Detroit Dollars Local

A remarkable number of shops are opening in Detroit and many others have stayed the course the past few years.

Since moving here four years ago, I’ve made it my personal mission to support these stores and to make every possible purchase I can in the city.

Is that always easy?  No, but I have to say it’s definitely getting easier.

I’m a fan of free-standing, unique brick and mortar establishments.  I avoid malls and ordering online if I can help it. I have found my niche in this city.

So in a nutshell, here are five reasons why I keep buying local and encourage you to do the same:

1.  The Shops Need Our Support

West Village Neighborhood (east of downtown) – people gather as new shops open



If I don’t support these shops, they will close. It’s just that simple.

Buying local changes the entire dynamic. They can’t exist if we city dwellers don’t frequent them.





2.  It’s Convenient

Moosejaw – a new pop-up specializing in outdoor clothing, located on Woodward Ave. at Grand River. Down vest anyone?




I love that it only takes me a few minutes to walk or drive to get what I need.

Rarely do I make a long haul into the suburbs.








3.  The Shopkeepers are Friendly and They Hire Local Residents

The doorman gives a nod to a downtown favorite, CityLoft Somerset Collection, open Thursday, Friday & Saturday until Christmas.



This is one of my favorite things.  They are genuinely glad to see me. I’m not a faceless customer but someone who resides in our great city.

In turn, they hire others who live in Detroit.






4.  Most of the Shop Owners are Our Neighbors

E&L Super Mercado, located on Vernor in busy Southwest Detroit, is butcher shop galore.


This is how I look at it:

If I buy from someone who lives in the city and they become successful, then they’re less likely to move.

I’m helping anchor the community and that benefits me in the long run.







5.  I Get to Buy What I want at a Reasonable Price

What do you think? The pink or the green monkey? Find it at Travel Traders, a shop in the Westin Book Cadillac on Washington Blvd. & Michigan Ave.


Small businesses cater to us locals and get to know our preferences.

The more shopkeepers there are in our local marketplace, the more it breeds innovation and competitive pricing because they’re tending to my needs.

And that’s a definite economic impact from which I benefit greatly.





In going to the shops in the city – whether they’re individually owned or one of the bigger brands, I’m finding these points to all be true.

The minute these shopowners come to Detroit they recognize the sense of community. They want to make us happy.

If they own a newly opened permanent store, they’re willing to take a chance. If they start a pop-up store, they want to become permanent.  Have a conversation with any one of them, learn their stories and you’ll more than likely be drawn to support them.

Buying local puts us on a major road to success for our city.


About Joanne

Joanne McNary qualifies as having a full-on case of “Detroit-itis,” a condition characterized by swooning at the sight of new business openings, cheering on women leaders and going gaga over local theatre. She grew up in the city and found her way back four years ago - now dwelling in downtown. Joanne's "Deeply Detroit" blog highlights Detroit's crazy patchwork of neighborhoods percolating with the miracles that are breathing new life into the city. She revels always in the warmth of her family. Her children, their spouses and one spectacular granddaughter are her treasures. In Joanne's mind, Twitter rules. Follow her on @DetroitRocks.

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