Tuesday, September 29, 2020

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I can’t believe this is the last week of October. Before the Halloween decorations are down, I am already seeing Christmas decorations going up. Retailers are trying to get everyone in the holiday shopping mood. If you make one commitment to yourself this holiday season, commit to spending your holiday shopping dollars locally.

I can hear some of you reading this article and saying what difference does it really make if I shop online or in a local store? I’m just one person. It is pretty much the same argument as those who defend not voting. I’m only one voice. What difference can I truly make? The point is that when all of those votes, and back to my point here, all of those purchases are added together, there is a whopping impact.

According to www.independentwestand.org, “Talk about a happy holiday! If every family in the country spent $100 of their holiday shopping budget at locally owned, independent businesses over $7.8 billion would be directly returned to local communities. By shifting just a portion of your holiday spending, you can help create more jobs and a stronger economy, so we can all have a happy new year!”

With the race for the White House truly getting into full swing, we are going to be bombarded with talk about the economy. If there is one thing upon which Americans can agree, it is that we MUST take action NOW to transform America’s current economy. Again, the ability to move America forward will come in large part to supporting American businesses, many of which are independently owned and by definition small. However, there is NOTHING small about the local impact these businesses have. How can we help? Once again, I quote independentwestand.org:

“You can support the cause and help revive the local economy by shopping at your friends’ and neighbors’ local stores. Buy their products. Eat their food. Use their services. In turn, these locally owned and operated businesses will continually pump your hard-earned dollars back into the local economy by way of taxes, payrolls and purchases.

“This means more money for roads, schools, services and new jobs in your community…

“Small business owners think money spent in your community should largely stay there, not always go home with strangers who hail from heaven knows where.

“These locals aren’t just ‘moms and pops.’ They’re all about family—brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, cousins, neighbors, friends—all the people who make your community a wonderful place to live.

“They’re scout leaders, volunteer firemen, Little League coaches. They’re the folks who sing in the church choir, rescue animals and help feed the less fortunate.”

Below are some amazing statistics from independentwestand.org compiled from a variety of data sources:

“Did You Know? Small businesses accounted for 65% of all net new jobs over the past 17 years. Small businesses employ 77 million Americans. 89% of consumers agree that independent businesses contribute positively to local economies. Residential neighborhoods served by a successful independent business district gained, on average, 50% more in home values than their citywide markets. Independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors. Independent restaurants return more than two times as much money per dollar of sales than national restaurant chains. If independent businesses regained their 1990 market shares, it would create 200,000 new small businesses, generate nearly $300 billion in revenues and employ more than 1.6 million American workers. If just half the U.S. employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. For every square foot a local firm occupies, the local economy gains $179 vs. $105 for a chain store.”

In conclusion, shop small, shop local, shop the Lake Gaston region first this holiday season. Every dollar makes a difference.

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