Support YOUR Community
Today, our blog comes from guest blogger, Catherine Glover, Director of the Washington Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce. We encourage everyone to become aware of the amazing local businesses in their own areas and support those businesses with your patronage!
For years the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce has promoted a Buy Local program and just this past year partnered with First South Bank on a Buy, Spend, and Be Local campaign. As an organization that contributes to the economic vitality of a community, buying local is at the forefront of what we are about. Recently, someone asked me why they should shop local. What difference does it make to me? Regardless of which county or town you reside in, it makes a huge difference to your local economy when you buy locally.
First, when you pay sales tax on your local purchase, a percentage of that money stays in the county from which it was purchased. They use this money to help offset the cost to run the county and all of its responsibilities. When you shop online or from a large chain store….you help the county and state in which they are headquartered. You help them to grow and you contribute to their schools instead of OURS. You are choosing to help prosper another area instead of the one you call home.
Second, you as a consumer are a big piece of the cycle that keeps the local economy going. Our local businesses need you to be their customers and to spend your dollars here with them. In return, they are able to hire our local citizens, family members and friends. They provide jobs to LOCAL people. When our local businesses do well, they are able to support local nonprofit organizations that work to meet the needs of the underserved in our communities. Also, when local businesses do well, they are able to sponsor local sports programs and events for our children, and invest in our communities. Essentially you are buying, spending and being local. Everything ties together to make the community thrive.
Third, when you buy local you make our community prosper and grow because it helps to change community statistics. These numbers are important as we recruit new businesses. Sometimes they can be the reason as to whether or not a new business wants to locate to a particular county. When a new business joins one of our communities, new jobs and more revenue filter into our county. If, as a community, we support our local businesses and keep the money circulating within the county then it makes the numbers rise and we are better able to attract and retain businesses. Retaining businesses is just as important as recruiting new ones, and when you shop local you are helping our local businesses thrive and grow, thus hopefully increasing the local workforce.
For years, buying local has been important. Today, it is more important than ever. If we don’t support our communities then who will? As we continue to recover from a tough economy, our businesses need you and rely on you. Make a commitment today to your local businesses to buy, spend, and be local. If we all changed our mentality to support locally owned businesses you would be amazed at what a positive impact it has on our local communities. Can you make every purchase locally? Probably not, but the point is to try to make an effort to shop in, dine in and enjoy the beautiful communities in which we live.
Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce