The independent Prineville business is one of the few of its kind still standing because of community support

Remember to buy local!

You should support your community and frequent your local shops and put money back into the local economy.

Does that sound familiar? It should. That message has come from many places for many years — your local chamber of commerce, your elected officials and even the pages of your community newspaper. More than likely, with the holiday season now upon us, you will probably hear it again.

But if you are looking for a success story, solid proof that local support makes a difference, look no further than Video Hut. For those who don't already know, they are one of the few remaining video stores certainly in Central Oregon and perhaps in the state or country.

The little local store is the last one of its kind standing in Prineville, outlasting a handful of others that closed up shop as national chain stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video gained a foothold throughout the country, and as video streaming companies like Netflix and Hulu flooded the marketplace. Consider that in 2004, Blockbuster was operating more than 9,000 video stores and today there is one left.

The video store is a novelty. Video Hut owner Kim Atkinson said that some people come into the store in large part for nostalgia purposes. Others come in because they never knew such a thing existed.

In a landscape where people can rent a movie without ever leaving the home, where they can choose from any number of online streaming services, Video Hut has managed to endure and still brings in customers.

How is this possible? Community support, that's how. Like many mom-and-pop diners or corner stores throughout the country, Atkinson depends on regulars — people who come in again and again to her local store, shop around and rent a video.

Not surprisingly, the video store owner is a staunch advocate for shopping local, and agrees with an article she once read that says without community support, technological advances and big-box competitors will ultimately result in empty local buildings. Without people willing to buy local and support the community, people will have little choice but to leave town, or stay at home in front of a computer and make purchases.

Atkinson has reached the conclusion that technology can't stop her business, but her community can. The same could be said for many of the local businesses in Prineville. And when you consider that they employ locals and the money spent there goes back into the community, it isn't hard to see the value in supporting them.

So remember to buy local. Your community's businesses depend on it — just ask Video Hut.

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