GOLDSMITH: Shop locally to support businesses and tax-funded servicesGive a gift to your own community.
By: Molly Goldsmith , Mitchell Main Street & Beyond
The holidays are upon us once again. As you begin preparation for your holiday celebrations, what aspects are traditions, things that you do every year?
One of them is probably shopping for the perfect gifts for your friends and family. Holiday gifts are a great way to show your appreciation of your loved ones during this wonderful time of year. It is also a great way to show your appreciation of local business owners.
When you spend money in a locally owned business, it stays in the community and has three times the impact on the Mitchell economy than money spent at national chains. For every $100 you spend in a local business, $68 comes directly back to the community through wages and sales tax. In 2011 alone, there was $23,352,198 in taxable sales downtown. That boils down to more than $467,000 that came back to Mitchell in the form of local sales tax. Those funds directly impact your lives through community projects, lessening your tax burden. Additionally, when you shop at locally owned stores, you are creating jobs, investing in downtown improvements, and promoting community development. Shopping locally, especially during the holiday season, helps both your local businesses and your community. So why not whet your appetite for the holiday season with a taste of the holidays at Mitchell’s locally owned businesses?
Make Mitchell your holiday shopping destination by visiting some of the great, locally owned stores in your backyard. You do not have to travel far to shop locally. Park once and visit all of your favorite stores. If you have questions about where to park for maximum impact and a more enjoyable shopping experience, ask a retailer or park in one of the municipal lots located at Second Avenue and Main or Fifth Avenue and Main.
In locally owned stores, you will not have to battle the checkout lines like you would in a big box store. With less time spent checking out, you have more time to explore and find those perfect gifts. Ask one of the store employees, for assistance. In many cases, the employee will be the owner, who knows the store’s inventory better than anyone, and can help you find the perfect gift for your husband, mother, child, neighbor or even your favorite teacher.
Many local businesses know you and your family. They remember your spouse showing interest in something at the Holiday Open House in November and just days before Christmas they can help you find it again. They place special orders in time for the holidays and provide personalized gift wrapping so that your loved ones feel as special as the gift sitting under the tree.
That customized service is just a small part of what business owners do to make their businesses stand out. They work hard, provide unique products, and are proud to make their businesses visible to the public and viable for the community. Business owners support the local economy themselves by hiring staff from the area, using local services and donating products and time to local nonprofits and service groups.
If you do not regularly shop local, then the holiday season is a great time to get a taste of it, but I encourage you to shop locally year-round. The businesses you support during the holidays are in need of support throughout the year. It is not just about this holiday season or the next; it is about the future of Mitchell.
We want to see our community grow and succeed. A community that supports and invests in local business shows where its priorities are. I encourage you to visit one or all of our local businesses, downtown or elsewhere, this holiday season and think about how you are supporting the community so easily.
So, keep the cheer here this holiday season and commit to shopping locally.