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Why Shop Local

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | July 8, 2014

The Real Reasons Your Spending MattersCustomer Shopping

We usually hear what we “should do” from a variety of different people every day.  One of the “should do” categories we hear about all year long, but especially during the Christmas season, centers around shopping locally.  Rarely do you hear the “why” beyond the shopping habits request.  We know “just do it” only works in athletic advertising, so below are just some of the many reasons why shopping local is important to our community, our businesses, our job base, our tax base and our infrastructure.

1. Shopping Local supports our local economy. For every $100 spent in a locally owned store, $45 stays within the local economy and circulates through other local businesses creating jobs and positive economic development. For big boxes, it’s about $15 per every $100 spent, while out-of-town shopping and on-line shopping retain virtually nothing for our local economy. SOURCE.

2. Keep Emporia (and your gifts) unique! Small local businesses have access to unique local products that make great gifts for that special someone in your life. Supporting our local businesses helps diversify our local economy by encouraging more entrepreneurs and more unique businesses.

3. Shopping local supports local charities. Local businesses support local organizations and charities that you depend on through their donations.Kids ShoppingWithout your support, local businesses can’t help all the local philanthropic agencies that come calling. With your support, local businesses give back and help local causes, promote holiday entertainment and all of the special things that make Emporia a unique and caring community.

4. Shopping local creates jobs. Small businesses are the nation’s largest employer, and according to the US Census Bureau, they create over ninety percent of all net new jobs. By supporting local small businesses, you create and retain jobs in our local area.

5. Supporting local business establishes our community leaders. What do most of our local elected officials have in common? They are small business owners or work as management within entrepreneurial style businesses. As Emporia seeks to deal with the challenges of tomorrow, it is important to generate creative new ways to solve local problems. Small business owners, by their very nature, are creative problem solvers.

6. Supporting local businesses creates the community that we want to see. When you spend money at a local business, you increase building occupancy rates, help establish new businesses and create vibrant local retail, service, restaurant and entertainment options. Local businesses reinvest the money you spend with them to help create a better Emporia.

7. Local businesses support other local businesses. When you spend yourKids Shoppingmoney with a local retailer, they spend money with a local advertiser, their local accountant, a local bank, the local office supply store, local product suppliers and much more.

8. Shopping local is green. Less money spent on fuel and packaging means a lower carbon footprint. Less time in the car means more time with family, friends and enjoying life.

9. Shopping local supports local schools, infrastructure and services. The property and sales taxes generated through local businesses pay our local teachers, fire fighters, police and support local roads and other infrastructure. When you shop local, you are literally helping to build our community.

10. Shop local because we have many great local businesses that want to help you have a wonderful Christmas season. There is nothing quite like running into your friends and family as you shop your home town, and buying things from people that know and care about you. This holiday season, do more than just shop Emporia. Invite your out of town friends and family to shop our community, and let’s have a wonderful Christmas season here in Emporia!

Remember, leadership is an action.  You can be a leader in the local shopping movement by setting an example and being vocal about your choice.  If you do find it absolutely necessary to visit out-of-town locations, make the effort to “off set” your out of town spending by inviting your friends and family to shop Emporia this Christmas season.  When Main Streeters create an environment of local business support, others join in on the movement.  Be a leader through action, and shop local this Christmas season!

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.


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