Manhattan, KS- It is estimated that about 20% of retail sales each year are a result of the Christmas shopping season. This means there is a lot of money changing hands this time of year. If I can make a suggestion, let’s try to spend those dollars close to home and shop at our locally-owned businesses.
In general, for each dollar spent at a locally owned business, 68 cents remains in the community. When you shop at home, you are creating and retaining jobs in your community, funding more community services (such as schools, streets, public parks, and pools) through sales tax, and promoting community development. This has a direct impact on everyone in the area, including you and your family.
Locally owned businesses recycle a large share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community. It’s estimated that 91% of local business owners contribute to community causes. Local business owners and their employees invest in the community by volunteering their time at non-profit events, coaching sports teams, sponsoring activities and projects, etc.
According to the organization, Sustainable Connections, small businesses donate 250% more than national chains to local nonprofits, events, and teams. This re-circulating of money leads to an increase in overall economic activity.
When you stop into the local store, it’s nice to know that someone working there knows you and has your best interest at heart. They are grateful to you for your business, because it makes a difference, unlike the giant retailers for whom your dollars are mere drops in the ocean. This person relies on your purchase to cover rent, put food on the table, or pay off a house.
Shopping at home means nurturing locally-owned businesses and serving primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.
When you shop at your locally-owned businesses, your dollars are working for your community’s success and small business success. When small businesses experience growth, they can expand their goods and services, making an even larger selection available closer to home.
When shopping local, remember home-based businesses as well. Home-based business owners may not have a storefront, but they are still asked for donations and collect sales tax that comes back to their community.
Remember the impact your dollars have on your local community. Shopping and doing business at home is all it takes to improve and grow the community we love, live in and work in and that gives back to us. Gather your friends or family members and get out in your community. Support local shops this holiday shopping season and into the New Year.