Let me count the ways

Coy Barefoot never gets around to telling us why he actually does shop at Wal-Mart [Essay, "Guilty: Why I shop at Wal-Mart," September 26, 2002] (http://www.readthehook.com/92528/essay-guilty-why-i-shop-wal-mart). Perhaps in reality he doesn't?

Just what's in his blue plastic bags anyway? I sympathize with all of his reasons for not shopping there, and I could offer a few more of my own. Instead, here is a list of why I shop at small, locally owned businesses:

I prefer enriching the local economy over sending profits to remote shareholders who neither know nor care about the quality of life in Central Virginia.

I enjoy how locally made products are often superior in quality to their trucked-in counterparts– especially, but not limited to food and agricultural products.

Local products tend to have a much lower environmental impact than trucked– or flown– in items.

It's a pleasure to interact with people who really know their line of work, and who generally love and enjoy it a great deal.

I can always find my car in the parking lot.

Morgan McLeod