Shop Local: Businesses


Brooklyn Branstiter, Editor

When people shop locally, they do much more than buy things from a convenient place for them. Buying things local supports the community, boosts the community’s economy and helps support local schools. Another benefit that comes from shopping locally is knowing where products being purchased are coming from and supporting their neighbors. 

Redman’s Shoes has been operating in Alliance, Nebraska since 1980. This small shoe store is always supporting businesses and people in our community. Trish Johnston, manager at Redman’s, has been working at Redman’s since she was in high school, which puts her at almost 30 years of working there. Johnston stated that people who shop at Redman’s allow for them to “provide jobs for our people, give donations to community events, bring in new products and show other businesses that our people do support us.” Without the support of the Alliance community, Redman’s would not be able to have products shipped to them, resulting in them shutting down, which would affect our entire community. 

Redman’s Shoes has been supporting our community since they opened. They provide many things that help hold our community together. Johnston said, “We support the schools and kids in our community [by] offering a team discount to all teams, buying fundraiser items that the kids are selling [and] donating to many of the organizations or events within the schools, such as post-prom or the booster club.” All of these things are what make Alliance feel like home, which is what makes these donations so important and appreciated.

Tera Digmann, Assistant Principal of Alliance High School, attests to Johnston’s comments. She said, “Redman’s has been very gracious by donating gift certificates for different raffle prizes and this year was very kind to give the school a significant discount when we needed to buy tennis shoes for a student in need.” She continued saying, “We had a student who did not have PE shoes. I called Redman’s and they were very willing to help us out. We took the student to the store and the store manager brought out several options for the student.” This is only a sliver of what Redman’s does for our community. 

There are many other local businesses in Alliance, and they are all just as giving. Digmann stated, “Local businesses buy ads in the school calendar, in the annual and in the school newspaper. These businesses also make several contributions to the school throughout the year. Our local businesses are very giving to our students and their events.” If we did not have these local businesses, our community would not be as tight-knit as it is. 

Alliance is a very small town with few businesses, so it is important that we support those that are open. We can start by buying a Nebraska t-shirt from Shelmadines rather than Amazon, buying a pair of jeans from Highway 2 Threads rather than an American Eagle outlet or buying a new pair of shoes from Redman’s as opposed to online from Nike. These small businesses need us in order to operate, and we need these small businesses in order to keep our small town so tight-knit. 

Local businesses are constantly giving to the community, so it is important that we show them the same love that they show us. If we do not, they will simply have no other choice but to shut down and for Alliance, this would result in having to drive over an hour to be able to shop somewhere. It is important that all of us start showing our local businesses some love.