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Shop locally, even during crunch time

It is Christmas crunch time. We have exactly one week until Christmas Eve. For many, it is the height of the Christmas shopping season. While eating lunch at Smokin’ J’s Friday, the subject of shopping locally came up.

Before you drive, click or shop in some form or fashion, ask yourself, “Am I helping my community?”

While this maybe the furthest from your mind, let me offer a few thoughts about shopping locally.

Here’s what happens when you “shop local.” (Some facts taken from Civic Economics – Andersonville Study of Retail Economics.)

More of your money will be kept in your local economy

For every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community. What happens when you spend that same $100 at a national chain? Only $43 stays in the community.

You create local jobs

Local businesses are better at creating higher-paying jobs for your neighbors. When you shop locally, you help create jobs for teachers, firemen, police officers, and many other essential professions.

‘You nurture community

Local business owners know you, and you know them. Studies have shown that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of chains.

You conserve your tax dollars

Shopping in a local business district means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money available to beautify your community. Also, spending locally instead of online ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they belong— in your community!

You create more choice

Locally owned businesses pick the items and products they sell based on what they know you like and want. Local businesses carry a wid­er array of unique products because they buy for their own individual markets.

You invested in entrepreneurship

Creativity and entrepreneurship are what the American economy is founded upon. Nurturing local business en­sures a strong community.

You made the community a destination

The more interesting and unique our community, the more we will attract new neighbors, visitors and guests. This benefits everyone.

So, make the most of your next seven days, but please stay local if you can.

Editor’s note: Parts of this column excerpted from “What Happens When You Shop Local” – independentwestand.org

David Specht is editor and publisher of the Minden Press-Herald.