Shopping locally makes good sense

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2019

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Think global; shop local is a phrase we hear quiet often these days. But does the average local shopper really stop and think about what shopping locally really means?

When we shop local we invest in our community, in our neighbors, and in ourselves. In this economic climate, we have to do what we can to survive and to thrive. Shopping locally helps us to do that. It keeps more money in our community; creates local jobs; leads to more choices and diversity; improves customer service; and protect the local culture.

Someone recently posted on my Facebook page a statement that brings what the shopping local phrase down to the grassroots.

“When you buy from a locally owned business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home, or another fancy car to add to his/her collection of a dozen or more fancy cars. Rather, you are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or student pay for college. Our customers are our shareholders and they are ones we strive to make happy!”

Shopping locally just makes good sense for our local merchants, and our local economy. One dollar spent locally turns over three times within the local community, making an even greater impact right here at home. The “Small Business Saturday” website quotes a statistic: of every $100 spent at small retailers, $68 of it stays in the surrounding communities.

The sales tax paid on local goods and services in our community are put to work immediately, thus helping to make a difference right here at home. Whether it is a trip to the local grocery store or a major purchase, your taxes provide money for local services as they are returned from the state based on point of sale and per capita.

Shopping locally saves time and money for you and helps support local business in our community. In turn, those local businesses are able to keep our local friends and neighbors on their respective payrolls, and in turn, those employees turn their money over locally….a cycle that continues on down the line.

The saving time and money aspect of the paragraph above translates into simple math. Say you’re shopping for a big ticket item….a vehicle; a new appliance; furniture; or building material. You may find a lower price at a store located in a larger retail environment (where competition is higher and the inventory is broader). But upon figuring in transportation costs and lunch/dinner while shopping in the Hampton Roads area, Greenville, Rocky Mount, etc., how much are you really saving and whose economy did you just help: yours or that of another region?

Additionally, shopping locally supports our school, our parks, recreation centers, libraries, our local police, fire departments, and other things that make this community a great place to work and live. Simply put, it fuels our economy.

Small local businesses are the fundamental to our community. Each small business makes the towns of the Roanoke-Chowan area a special place. They are integral part to the life of a community, dependent on long term personal relationships with customers, staff, and suppliers.

Please keep in mind that you can make a difference each time you reach for your wallet by spending money locally.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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