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Local Businesses Make Bend Special 

A few weeks ago the Source reported on the status of Bend's last independent video store, Westside Video. I was reminded of the importance of

A few weeks ago the Source reported on the status of Bend's last independent video store, Westside Video. I was reminded of the importance of such small businesses when my daughter and I recently rode our bikes to Westside Video to rent a movie. Locally owned businesses such as Devores Good Foods, Ranch Records, The Book Barn, Westside Video and others add diversity, independence and flavor to a commercial market that could soon be made up of nothing but sterile, national chains such as Blockbuster, Barnes & Noble and other big box stores.

 
The small stores provide people with an opportunity to connect with others in our community as we walk or ride bikes to such places. Chain stores are often located in traffic-congested areas that are too far or unsafe to travel to by foot or bike with family and friends. As for my money, more of my money spent at a locally owned business stays in Bend to be reused again and again in the form of tax revenue or purchases at other businesses.

With declining movie rentals in recent years, Westside Video may have to close its doors, and with it another small piece of what makes Bend unique will be gone. So I encourage others to join me in canceling our Blockbuster or Netflix memberships, take a walk or bike ride and spend our money and time supporting the local businesses that have helped to make Bend a unique place to live.

These small, one-of-a-kind businesses are part of the charm of our town and a reason for why we moved here. In recent years we've already lost other local neighborhood video stores, record stores and hardware stores. Let's wake up and do what's right rather than what's convenient and make the right choice before Bend has nothing but chain stores. Years from now our kids will thank us for it.

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