When you look for air conditioning repair companies or for car mechanic, or an electrician, do you choose “local first” or do you go to “big name”?

If you have been living in Tucson for some time, you know that traditionally, Tucsonans prefer local brands, local retailers, and local service providers. As participants in our community, we know that our local purchasing decisions will help our city to remain vibrant as we “keep the money local”.

Is “Tucson first” still important?

Yes, it is even more important than before.

With the pandemic and the economic devastation it has produced, followed by a huge increase in the cost of housing in Tucson, and now the general rise in prices for groceries, gas and home services, we have seen many small businesses close their doors in our community in the past three years.

At the same time, large service chains and online retailers seem to be winning over local businesses. They benefit from what local businesses don’t have: access to big money, which gives them the capacity to sustain economic hardship for long periods.

D&H Air Conditioning has been blessed

D&H Air Conditioning has been blessed to develop a strong presence in the community since 1959. We have survived many recessions. We have enjoyed the support of many Tucsonan families who have preferred to “keep it local”: getting their air conditioning serviced by a local air conditioning company.

We have remained a local employer, and just a couple years before the pandemic, we decided to build our new headquarters in Tucson rather than migrating to Phoenix.

We have not been totally spared however by the current economic tides. We have had to adjust our expansion plans; we have hired but less fast than before; we have kept our prices and lived on tight margins to remain within budget for our community.

We will survive because we are prudent in how we spend, and we strive to deliver a quality service and satisfy our customers.

Many friendly businesses have not had a good ride like us, however, and we thought it could be à-propos to share how “shopping local” helps our community.

Economic benefits

Choosing local services contributes to our local economy. When local businesses thrive, they create jobs and generate revenues that stay within our community. This increases the overall economic health of our city, and helps supporting the financial well-being of its residents through tax revenues.

In contrast, large service chains often siphon profits away from the local economy, sending money to corporate headquarters and shareholders located in other cities or countries. When money is sent to Phoenix or Austin or San Diego, it leaves Tucson never to return.

When you support an air conditioning service company native from Tucson, like D&H AC, you keep the money in Tucson and this money will be re-used multiple times locally.

By supporting local businesses, we Tucsonans ensure that our dollars are reinvested into our community, bolstering our economy.

Personalized air conditioning services

Local service providers have a strong understanding of the preferences of their customers. For D&H, this means offering air conditioning services specifically adapted to our local weather patterns and our local housing types.

Large service chains or non-local providers may lack this understanding and not be able to provide the same level of personalized care.

Also, our HVAC technicians live in our community, and this means that as a company, we have a stronger sense of accountability and commitment to our neighbors.

Prompt and reliable A/C repair services

When dealing with time-sensitive issues like emergency air conditioning repairs, D&H knows a quick response time is critical. This is why we offer emergency air conditioning service at night and during the week-end.

Other local businesses also make special accommodations to serve our community better. Tucson plumbers know they have to be on call in February, when the ground can freeze and burst pipes.

Large service chains do not have the same reaction time. If you need a special part that has been discontinued, a local mechanic will pull all kinds of strings to get you the part. A giant chain may not be as reactive because they have to follow procurement channels.

The same is true with air conditioning repair: sometimes an air conditioner is so old that the manufacturer has disappeared, or the unit is no longer manufactured and maintained. In these cases, D&H has a nationwide network of parts providers: we call them until we find the right part for your AC. This is because we know you can’t be several days without air conditioning in Tucson.

Supporting local entrepreneurship and innovation

Local small business owners have invested their life, time, energy, and resources into building their business from the ground up. By choosing them over big brands or transplants from other cities like Phoenix, Tucsonans support local entrepreneurship and innovation. This fosters a thriving business community and encourages the development of new products, services and technologies that can further improve our quality of life.

Environmental Sustainability

Choosing local service providers may have environmental benefits as well. Because we live in our city, we are concerned about its cleanliness, the quality of the air and the water. As local businesses, we will avoid bad environmental practices because they will not benefit our family, friends, and neighbors.

We are long-term stakeholders in our community. We did not come to Tucson just to open a new market. We grew up here, or we have resided here for a long time. We feel “part and parcel” of Tucson.

Community Engagement and Social Responsibility

Local service providers and retailers engage in community events, support local charities, and sponsor youth sports teams. Sometimes service chains do the same, make no mistake. And we are grateful when they do.

But even if the general manager of a Phoenix-based company lives in Tucson, how much leeway does he/she have to sponsor a local soccer team without having to write to corporate management to get an OK?

Your local plumber or electrician has children: when the mom is not in the bleachers to support her children, she is actively involved in preparing the food for the team, or driving two or three kids to their next match. This is a kind of commitment that is difficult to quantify in dollars, but easy to measure in terms of love.

Local businesses are more involved than big corporate businesses. That’s a reality.

D&H Air Conditioning has been involved for many, many years with local charities like Walk for MS, or the TPD’s own charities. We sponsor events, give to charitable drives, support Tucson with our time. That’s normal, nothing to brag about. But that’s the commitment of a small business to its community.

Long-term relationships and trust

As a small local business, we know that the relationships we form with our community are there to last. We invest ourselves in these relationships. We are not here to make a quick buck and disappear. We do not take your loyalty for granted either. When we come to your home to perform an air conditioning repair, we want to make a good impression time after time. If we do, we hope that when you change home, you call us again.

This is a lifetime commitment to developing and keeping long-term relationships.

A large service chain or business with its headquarters in another city is not here for the same purpose. Maybe they want to reach a certain size to be acquired by an even bigger business. To “cash out and retire”… Maybe they want to reach a certain number of clients to negotiate better discounts with their suppliers.

It’s all good, nobody finds fault with that. But it’s not building personal relationships and trust for the next 30 years, like a small local business will strive to do.

At D&H, when a client is particularly satisfied with one of our HVAC technicians, we always strive to keep the same person serving them every time. Because we value the quality of the relationship between our customer, our technician and our business, we will do what is necessary to foster this trust.

Preservation of local character and identity

When Tucsonans choose a local service business or a local retail, they help preserve the unique character and identity of Tucson. Why pick a local Mexican restaurant rather than a chain restaurant? The cook is local, the menu is local, the flavors are local.

Local businesses contribute to Tucson’s distinct culture and atmosphere, setting it apart from other regions dominated by generic chain stores and service providers. Supporting local providers helps maintain the diverse and vibrant landscape that makes Tucson a special place to live.

Encouraging healthy competition

By opting for local HVAC service providers, Tucson residents contribute to a competitive marketplace that ultimately benefits all consumers. Healthy competition among local businesses drives innovation, better customer service, and more competitive pricing.

In contrast, when large service chains dominate the market, they can stifle competition and limit the choices available to consumers. Amazon is killing the traditional retail store. Large car service chains put local mechanics out of business.

Before you buy, ask yourself: is this company born and raised in Tucson? Is their management in Tucson or in some other city?

Local expertise and knowledge

Our HVAC technicians are well-versed in the unique challenges and demands of Tucson’s climate. This allows them to offer expert advice in air conditioning service. They understand the impact of extreme temperatures, dust storms, and other weather-related issues on air conditioners, and can provide the most effective solutions to keep homes comfortable and energy-efficient.

In turn, they train young apprentices in the way things work in Tucson. This preserves the local knowledge, and makes Tucson a desirable city to work in, with more jobs to offer.