Would you like to be able to help strengthen the economic base of your community, help support non-profit community groups, create more jobs, and keep your community a pleasant and unique place to live and work? You have the power to make all of that happen by keeping your dollars in Columbia County.
How can you spend locally?
- Dine out at local restaurants and shop in local stores
- Shop for products and services you need for your home locally
- Buy gifts, goods and services from local businesses
- Encourage friends and family to use local hotels when coming to the area
Why spend locally?
The money you spend at the local independent businesses continues to circulate in our community. That creates a multiplier effect that directly benefits you and your neighbors, and it helps support a healthy tax base for Columbia County and local cities, and the essential services they provide.
Locally owned independent businesses, on average, provide much larger donations in support of local non-profits and school organizations. From sponsoring the local little league teams to just saying yes to donating their time or money to help a group achieve your fundraising goals. They care about the community they live and work in, and want to make a difference by donating to the organizations that improve the quality of life for our community members and our children.
Studies have shown that when you use independent, locally owned businesses significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms. This will continue to help strengthen and grow the economic base in Columbia County by creating and sustaining more jobs. Did you know that when grouped together that small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community? The jobs stay within the county with local people who will care more about the goods and services you receive from them.
The customer service representatives in the small local businesses are knowledgeable about the products and services offered locally. The business owner is directly connected to every employee in the store and most often is there working side by side with them. The products within the stores are more individualized to our area and the owners are very responsive to requests from customers to meet their needs. This combined presence of all the local one-of-a-kind businesses in Columbia County ensures and preserves the uniqueness of our community.
Check out more reasons to keep it local.
Be the Ultimate Local Shopper
In a 2012 survey by the American Planning Association, when people were asked what made an ideal community, the top answer was having locally owned businesses nearby.
Unfortunately, It can be tough these days for local businesses to stay open. If you want to see your town’s economy survive and prosper, the best thing you can do is go the extra mile – or more accurately, stay close to home – to shop there.
Learn about Local Businesses
To learn more about local businesses in your area:
- Set aside a day to explore your town and see what it has to offer. Part of the benefit of shopping local comes from being able to run errands on foot, leave your car at home and focus on the area within walking distance.
- Ask your friends and neighbors for local recommendations for goods & services. You never know – that great hairdresser you’ve been looking for might be just around the corner.
Go Local for Services
Goods are often cheaper at big-box stores that sell cheap, mass-produced wares. However, services are often just as affordable (or even more so) when you buy them locally. For example, my local auto mechanic typically charges lower prices (and does better work) than the dealership. Likewise, taking a pair of worn-out shoes to my local shoe-repair shop for resoling is less expensive than buying a new pair.
Shop Local Year-Round
Once you’ve identified local businesses in your area, the next step is to make shopping at them part of your usual routine. You’ll quickly discover that most owners and employees of local businesses live locally too, and share your desire for a great community to live in. Shopping local is a perfect choice for gifts, because a present feels more special when it comes from your own hometown.
Participate in Small Business Saturday
Each year, American Express sponsors an event called “Small Business Saturday” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, encouraging people to start their holiday shopping at local businesses. Many independent businesses offer special sales on this day. This can be a welcome alternative to fighting the increasing crowds at major retailers “Black Friday” sales.
Help Your Community Prosper
When you invest money in your local economy, you’re not just helping local business owners – you’re also helping yourself. You’re making your town a better place to live in, with a rich character, a thriving economy, and a tightly-knit community. And the more local businesses prosper, the more new ones will open – making it even easier to continue shopping locally in the future.