OP-ED: Support Local Restaurants


Matt Michailoff, Features Editor, Junior

Students are always looking for various, accessible food options nearby. With Pelham being a small town, people often look past Pelham restaurants and gravitate to large chains or elsewhere. However, supporting Pelham restaurants is crucial because the vibrance and upkeep of a community depends heavily on the success of businesses. If students are ordering delivery from McDonald’s, Dunkin, and similar chains, money is being kept from Pelham’s commerce and the mobility of local business. While they might not have the exact options one is looking for, students must keep Pelham restaurants in mind when deciding where to grab a bite.

Delivery is an easy choice for many students because there is a wide variety of options, and it requires minimal effort. Most students also choose chains because of lower costs and later hours. However, in the grand scheme of things, having to pay for delivery fee, service fees, and tip, delivery can come out to be much more expensive than going to a local restaurant. These restaurants are spread throughout town, making them accessible to everyone.

There are several reasons why eating locally is important and one of these is the environmental impact. Local restaurants are much more likely to support local food providers like fishers, farmers, ranchers, bakeries and breweries. Eating locally produced food is one of the key ways to lower one’s carbon footprint. Since food does not have to be transported hundreds of miles, much less
carbon emissions are being used to produce the food. Additionally, many local restaurants make food on demand and do not mass produce their items, leading to minimal food waste. Food waste emits methane when dumped into landfills.

Supporting local restaurants is incredibly crucial to the economy of a town, especially in Pelham with a small, compact population. These institutions also create local jobs and may offer better wages and benefits. According to a study by Michigan State University, 2 out of 3 jobs worldwide are created by local businesses. Additionally, local businesses employ 52% of the nation’s employees. In addition, shopping at local restaurants keeps money inside the community which increases economic downturn. More money will circulate within the community and benefit infrastructure in the town while improving the tax base. The property taxes paid by local businesses cover state and federal taxes, which is only possible if they are succeeding. On average, 73 out of every 100 dollars spent at a locally owned business stay within the community.

Locally owned businesses are much more charitable than their corporate counterparts and commonly support local initiatives. It is likely to see many restaurants in Pelham sponsoring little league teams and donating to youth groups, teams, and community campaigns. On the other hand, larger corporations rarely ever do this, and the Pelham community will never see the fruits of their success. According to Michigan State University, 91% of local business owners contribute to their economy. These good spirited businesses deserve the patronage of their towns as they have proved their commitment to the benefit of the greater good.

Pelham has a wide variety of affordable, and intentful restaurants that deserve the business of students. Remember to think of local restaurants before opting for a chain. If students make an effort to do this, our community will undeniably improve and help us all.