Shop locally to support small businesses, community at large
“The action of shopping is a love for some, and a task for others, but it benefits everyone,” explained Franklin County Chamber of Commerce executive director Cassie Medley. “It really makes a difference when we shop at new businesses as well as those whose doors have been open for decades.”
While shopping online makes it easy and perhaps tempting to buy from massive all-in-one shops, it’s important not to forget the impact we can make through buying from our local businesses, some of which also have online options. Not only does shopping locally help keep them in business, and hopefully thriving, but it also has an impact through the tax dollars it brings to our community.
“A city’s economic growth and sustainability to provide city services such as police protection, waste collection, a library, parks and recreation, senior citizen services and more depends on the amount of sales tax received from local businesses,” explained Red Bay mayor Charlene Fancher.
Russellville mayor David Grissom said shopping locally means our money stays here, where among many other things, it funds the fire department and police, as well as the street department and parks and recreation, as well as the schools.
“Our tax dollars have a big effect on the schools to the tune of about a million dollars a year because that’s our appropriation to the school system,” Grissom explained. “It comes from sales tax revenue. For those who work here, but don’t live here, buying gas or groceries even once a week makes a difference.”
“It is so important that we support our local businesses by shopping at home so the businesses can achieve and prosper, and so we can enable the city to provide better services and opportunities for all citizens,” Fancher added.
On a personal level, it also gives us the opportunity for one-on-one interactions that help us learn more about and from each other and can help us feel more a part of our community. That’s not something you’re going to get from an online big box retailer.
Shopping locally is also important because this is often when we run into people, either old or new friends or acquaintances. It’s not just about the act of processing a transaction in exchange for goods or services, but about feeling like we’re all in it together and a part of each other’s lives, even if it’s a brief greeting while we go about our day.
So, shop locally as much as you can. Even small purchases make a difference. Don’t forget to take time to peruse our Valentine’s Day gift guide on page A8 of this week’s paper and consider supporting our many and varied local businesses. While you’re there, read some of the comments we received from our community recently sharing what they love about Franklin County.