By June Mathews, Executive Director, Trussville Area Chamber of Commerce
I don’t much care for making resolutions, particularly those of the New Year’s variety. In the past, I’ve made them with the best of intentions, only to discover somewhere around the second week of January that keeping them is taking way more effort than they’re worth. So for several years now, I’ve skipped the whole New Year’s resolutions routine.
But this year, I feel compelled to make at least one resolution, and not just for my own benefit, but for the sake of my community as well.
As anybody who’s been halfway paying attention knows, 2020 was a particularly tough year for local retailers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shutdown orders that left big box stores open and quarantines that contributed to a rise in online shopping diverted business away from the little guys and compounded the difficulties of maintaining a small business in a world geared toward one-stop shopping and one-click convenience.
But here’s how we can help:
RESOLVE TO SHOP LOCAL IN 2021.
And here are 5 reasons we should:
- Shopping local keeps more of your money in your hometown economy.
Did you know that for every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community? On the other hand, spend that same $100 at a national chain, and only $43 stays in the community. So before you buy that gift or shop for groceries, stop and think: Where had you rather your money go? To your community? Or someone else’s?
- Shopping local keeps more of your tax dollars working for you.
Funding government services like police and fire services, education and health services, libraries and road maintenance takes money, much of which comes from local sales taxes. While many of these services receive federal funds in the form of grants, local tax dollars are their bread and butter. So shopping local is an investment in your community’s overall quality of life.
- Shopping local supports businesses found only in your community.
Look around at the businesses in your area that aren’t part of national chains or franchises. It’s those businesses that give your town its unique character, an elusive quality you won’t find anywhere else. That kind of charm doesn’t happen by itself, and it begins with small business owners dedicated to being the best at what they do and to the community they serve.
- Shopping local creates jobs
While shopping locally creates jobs for the people who own and work for the businesses you choose to patronize, it also supports a bigger employment picture. It helps build a busy, thriving community that ultimately requires teachers, firemen, police officers, and other professionals to function.
- When you shop local, you invest in entrepreneurship
Some of the hardest working, savviest, and most creative individuals I know are small business owners. They have a passion for what they do, and the brand of entrepreneurship they represent is the basis on which the American economy was founded. And when it comes to community causes, small business owners are always among the first to contribute.
So as the new year begins, please join me in supporting local merchants. You and your community will benefit.
RESOLVE TO SHOP LOCAL IN 2021.