Economic recovery begins by spending locally

By Clyde Davis: Local columnist

Having gone online this morning, I find that I can replace my old Flexible Flyer sled — the one with the wooden bed and the metal runners — by mail order for about $130.

That’s not bad, though I have no idea how it would compare to what my parents paid for mine. Dollar amounts equated, it would probably work out about the same.

Why is this important? I ended up on the Web site as a follow-up to a previous article, detailing the troubles faced by a Colorado sled builder as a result of zoning regulations which he seemed to have run afoul of.

I wanted to see if Flexible Flyer was still making sleds, as well.

The fact that they are is actually a moot point; the only problem with my sled is a cracked centerboard, which should last the winter, and I’ve already bought the oak to replace it with (a fairly simple procedure).

I have also not yet concocted a reason sufficient to replace my old Rossignol Nordic skis, which I have had for about 25 years.

Without taking political sides, (because a leader’s goals all depend on cooperation anyway), it is reasonable to hope that the President’s state of the union promise to help and encourage small businesses, by means of incentives and tax breaks, will boost our economy and empower American business.

Before going further, let me state that I know Rossignol is a big company, simply in the interest of clarifying my awareness. I was thinking more of the small mountain ski shops, like the one where I bought the Rossignols.

Such shops make a small but significant income by refurbishing used equipment and reselling it, thereby saving money for the purchaser, as well.

The connection to the fellow making sleds in Colorado should be fairly obvious.

In looking at the proposal, if it can actually be enforced, there’s a need to remember at least two things. One is that every business, arguably, starts small.

The other is that not every business desires to grow large, and large is not the same as successful — witness the stench created by bailouts for large financial firms not very long ago.

Some businesses would be creating a prescription for failure if they grew too large. There are plenty of examples, in our own town, of businesses now successful which would lose their character, and thus their clientele, if they homogenized.

Whether or not the Congress will construct and implement a game plan, we ourselves can help economic recovery.

We can curtail the spending gluttony which got us in this bind in the first place. (Translation: Fix the cracked centerboard and ride the Rossignols until they wear out).

Of equal importance, we can channel our spending in Clovis to the support of locally owned or franchised businesses, or businesses which support local endeavors.

All the incentives in the world will not replace shopping in Clovis or Portales, rather than going elsewhere.

Economic recovery is not a gift that is going to be handed to us, by any government, unless we participate

Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian School. He can be contacted at: