Opinion

Shop local to spread holiday cheer

It’s Black Friday today, the day shoppers help put merchants in the financial “black” for the year. To help do this, national chains have dangled deals before the buying public to entice them into their stores.

Three days later comes Cyber Monday, when we’re all suppose to go online and buy, buy, buy.

But there’s another day that’s even more important: Small Business Saturday. It happens tomorrow, Nov. 24, across the nation.

The event reminds people to shop locally at shops and stores based and operated here in our own communities. The owners of these shops do more than just sell products or offer services. They are our neighbors who support our schools and other institutions, participate in local activities and government and, all-in-all, make this a better community in which to live.

Some numbers show how important they are.

• When you spend $100 at an independent business, $68 returns to the local community. Spend that same amount at a national chain and it drops to $43.

• Small business accounts for 75 percent of all new jobs.

• Locally owned businesses reinvest in the local economy at a 60 percent higher rate than chains and internet retailers.

• Small businesses create more than half the non-farm private gross domestic product (GDP).

• Locally owned and operated businesses create higher-paying jobs for you and your neighbors.

• More of your tax dollars are reinvested in your community to fund local schools, hire more police officers and improve roads.

Last year, more than one hundred million people nationwide came together to shop on Small Business Saturday. Let’s join them tomorrow – and other days throughout the year – to keep our local businesses and our community strong.

 

– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter

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