When I moved to Grove in 2013, friends joked I needed two things - a PikePass and Amazon Prime.

Situated more than 45 minutes from major shopping outlets, Prime to some became a way to find items not available in Grove or the immediate surrounding areas.

I confess I listened. While I didn't get the PikePass until last year, the Lawman and I invested in Prime in 2015, as we were planning for our wedding.

At times, online shopping has been the only way to go. As someone in the sandwich generation, Prime has helped fill the gap when either my nephew or my mom needed something in a pinch.

Sometimes the two-day guaranteed delivery can make it to the farm, before I can get to the store.

It helped me when the nephew needed some items for college. He could go into my account, put them in my cart, and all I had to do is hit "send." It was shopping "high speed/low drag" as the Lawman calls it. Besides, it saved the nephew from having to drag me to multiple stores.

Even with Prime, I've always had a mantra I've tried to follow since the days at my first newspaper. "Shop Local."

This means eating at local restaurants, buying items whenever possible at a local store, and finding ways to support the local economy.

It means supporting fundraisers for kidlets - because while I don't need another tub of frozen cookie dough or roll of wrapping paper, they need the items or trip it supports.

It also means checking to see if there's a local option for an item, before automatically clicking "ship now" online.

Shopping locally guarantees one thing. Local businesses will be around, to pump finances into the economy, which in turn, helps all of us as infrastructure and more is improved.

I guess that's why I was saddened last week, to watch a contract for engineering work for the Grove Regional Airport go - not to a qualified local firm - but instead to an out-of-town firm.

When asked about the decision, the airport board's new leader Eddie Rose admitted the competition was close between both firms.

But rather go with the local firm, which provides multiple professional jobs within the community, the board voted to go with the out of towners.

While the local firm had "boots on the ground" status, Rose indicated the firm who won has more clout with legislators and the FAA, and was the overwhelming preferred choice for that reason.

It seems the local firm's efforts to strengthen it's aviation qualifications by bringing in a nationally-qualified partner didn't matter.

There's lots of reasons to buy something "out of town." Sometimes it's the only feasible way to make something happen. But buying local makes a difference.

Here's something to think about:

"When you see something at an independent store that costs a little more, try to remember that Amazon and Target don’t buy ads in the local football program, donate prizes to your silent auctions and probably wouldn’t let you have a bake sale in front of their store - or buy your baked goods, and eat them, and tell you ‘Thank you, they were yummy.’" - Source Unknown.

If we want things to remain operational - be it a local newspaper, restaurant or business - we must find ways to keep our cash flow local.

Think of it like a plant. If we don't continue to water it (with cash) the plant (business) might just dry up, and not be around the next time you need something for the your silent auction, school fundraiser or when a neighbor is in need.

Local businesses provide local jobs, which help local families, which then help local schools, which then bring in more families into the community, which brings in more jobs and opportunities, and so on and so on.

Do you get the point? Buying local is the key to a healthy, successful community. Ultimately, isn't that what we all want for Grove?

Kaylea M. Hutson is the managing editor of The Grove Sun and Delaware County Journal. Have an idea for a column or story? She can be reached at khutson@grovesun.com or 918-786-2228.