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Are You Supporting Local Businesses Before Asking for Sponsorship?

I am undeniably and proudly pro-local, and I have a million and one reasons why. I could talk at length about the critical importance of supporting local businesses, especially in rural communities. As someone who writes and speaks professionally on these topics, I have become an advocate for the growth and development of rural areas.

Starting and growing my own business on a rural Main Street was crucial in understanding firsthand the challenges these communities and businesses face. This experience has been invaluable, allowing me to speak authentically about the hardships I've personally encountered. It was a case of putting my money where my mouth was.

Over the past two years, while advocating for rural communities and building my own business, I've realized that the promise of what small businesses offer to small communities is often one-sided. We've all seen the popular quote that "big businesses won't support your kids' soccer team, but your community's small businesses will." This couldn't be truer.

I have discussions about the growth and scalability of businesses in rural areas and the struggle to find sufficient financial support and buildings to continue expanding. At the same time, I see these businesses taking on every sponsorship, community support, and volunteer opportunity they can manage, sometimes even taking on too much.

So today, I ask that before you rely on small businesses for support, ensure you are supporting them in return. Yes, I am asking you to take a chance and shift behaviors that have likely served you well. If you work to grow what is growing here, it will always turn around to grow you back.

But it can no longer be one-sided.

Before you ask for a check, I am begging you to first shop, support, and work to grow that business so they can continue to support the community. Because its obvious the community needs them to exist when it comes to sponsorships and support.

With all that being said, I will likely rewrite and request this until I am blue in the face. And you will still show up to ask, and I can almost guarantee those businesses will still cut you a check to support your cause or team. So it won't likely matter if you don't, but it will matter when not enough people support them back to keep them in business.

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