I am incredibly grateful to be the GM (Grand Master of Good Times!) at Alibi Ale Works Truckee Public House. One of the most rewarding parts about my job of the past three-and-a-half years is how much I am able to give back to my community. Alibi Truckee has been able to provide hundreds of free unique community events a year. Being part of and contributing to the thriving culture of Truckee has become a point of pride for me personally.
Truckee and so many other mountain towns build and maintain their unique personalities and culture through the wealth of small, locally-owned restaurants and shops and locally-run nonprofits. Right now, COVID has the majority of these small operations on the ropes of survival. From COVID regulations to new societal norms of what is considered “safe,” many of our business models have been shattered. The local agencies, especially the Town of Truckee, have gone above and beyond to help Alibi stay relevant and open in these crazy times, but COVID is far from over! We are at risk of losing many small local businesses, and as a result, the unique Truckee culture we love.
Every morning I wake up and wonder: How does the stock market keep climbing to new record highs in the midst of a global pandemic and shutdown? Clearly, the economy has not stopped; it has shifted. Some businesses are thriving, and some are dying. Spending has shifted to online platforms. Online spending on Black Friday in 2020 was over $9 billion. The money is still flowing, but it may be flowing out of our community instead of through our community. I hear a lot of people complain about the wealth disparity in this country only to turn around and order a new T-shirt on Amazon. This choice sends money out of your community and into the pockets of the companies and people you are complaining about!
Now, more than ever, we need to consider where we are making our purchases, whether they are in a brick and mortar store or online. You could buy a shirt on Amazon Prime and send your money far, far away, to only be seen again as an ad in your Instagram feed; or you can choose to put your money into your local community. Buy a shirt from your locally-owned shop, who purchased the shirt from the local T-shirt printer, who then uses the profit to advertise in your local newspaper, whose employees use their salary to go buy a four-pack of delicious locally-made beer at the local brewery, who throws a fundraiser for your favorite nonprofit. All of these local businesses and organizations benefit, survive, and grow to build the community you love and are proud to be a part of.
Spend your money locally whenever possible, not only to keep our unique businesses alive, but to protect our town’s identity. If our local businesses fall victim to COVID, we risk a chain store filling the void. Not only do chain stores send much of their profits out of town, they replicate a boring norm that you can access in every state and city in the country. Let’s keep the region unique, diverse, interesting, and thriving by spending our hard-earned money at Truckee and North Lake Tahoe-owned small businesses this holiday season and beyond! Your consumer buying power matters more now than ever. Only together can we grow our unique mountain identity and thriving community!
Buy local, drink local, love local!
~ Rylan Cordova has lived in the North Lake Tahoe area for 17 years. A music lover, avid soccer player, mountain biker, trail runner, water sport enthusiast, and skier of all genres, Rylan made Truckee his basecamp in 2011. He has managed the Good Times at Alibi Truckee since its opening in June 2017.