I’m a firm believer in buying local and giving my hard-earned money to hard-working businesses and service providers in my own community. The fact that this is one of my “life philosophies” seems to have been missed by a recent comment on this blog where I was chastised by one of those “brave” anonymous blog trolls who love to criticize others without offering any valuable insights or information.
Did you know we have our VERY OWN rv Repair business here in tok (several to be exact) and one i know of gives a LOCAL DISCOUNT. He can repair just about anything on an RV, including the water systems, which happens to be his specialty. (Black grey and potable). Shamefull, really, to take your business somewhere other than local when the economy could so clearly use the boost. Still promoting Tok? Doesn’t sound like it.
It all started when I mentioned we were bringing our RV and bikes to Fairbanks to be repaired. After asking around and looking around the community for an RV repair shop that was open this early in the season and that repaired RV flooring, we were directed to Fairbanks and other towns even further away.
Luckily, another blog reader commented with some very helpful and enlightening information about RV repair shops in Tok stepped up and filled me in. Of course, we had already dropped off our RV at Arctic RV in Fairbanks when I saw the message with instructions how to get in touch with an RV repair guy in Tok.
Willards is open year round (he does some RV work) and if he didnt want to do it he would have gotten you in touch with our shop, J Squared Enterprises & Tok RV Center, and we would have loved to do it when we open this coming Friday. We have signs in the window with our phone numbers and would have loved to set something up with you to fix it. We have repaired many RV’s floors and understand the linoleum cracks and peels in the cold. We are full service on and off site and our family lives here year round.
Had you talked to Chevron also, they would have steered you to us. Yes, our building may not be open yet, but my husband it wonderful at being able to work offisite and could have offered you an estimate. Should you want to contact us about your RV, please, dont hesitate to call us . Our number is on the door to the big white building across from the old burnt texaco. If you dont want to call us and want to talk in person, we are opening at 8am on May 1st. I think the other commentator was just wondering why you would want to drive it all the way to fairbanks when there are more than a few quality repair places here in Tok.
Definitely something to know for next time.
I still haven’t found a bike repair person or bike supply place in Tok. I know that some very talented people provide services locally, however, finding them is a huge challenge, especially when you ask around and even the locals are going elsewhere for certain products and services. So whose fault is it when a business in a small community isn’t marketing to community residents in a variety of ways?
Or how about reaching out to new arrivals in town with promotional material. When we first moved here, a number of people stopped by from various churches with baskets of flowers and other lovely gifts. Perhaps business owners can pay a small fee (donation to these churches) to include their business cards or brochures in a package along with the flowers or cookies? I’d certainly welcome a stack of business cards to obtain products locally or use local services.
It isn’t really hard to imagine a smaller community like Tok lacking in a number of services. I was floored, however, when we first arrived to learn that there wasn’t even a bookstore in town – that the one that my husband had shopped at a year ago went out of business recently. I wonder: do these kinds of businesses in this area close up because of lack of customers or lack of business savvy or desire to sustain or all of the above?
How can we better support our local businesses when we don’t know they exist–or better yet, how can we help market these businesses so more people know they exist?