Thinking local

Sunday, November 18, 2012

By Brian S. Gerau

It is not always possible to purchase what you need locally, but as long as you think locally, the chances of shopping locally are enhanced greatly.

Just think of what shopping locally does for the community. First, that money stays in your community. That money can be reinvested in not-for-profit groups, civic organizations, schools and churches. That's a win-win-win situation for everyone. Plus the sales tax paid is also reinvested in the community through schools, roads, and fire and police protection.

Many people do not realize there is little to no sales tax via online shopping. Loss of sales tax revenue can have a drastic effect on any size community.

For all the environmentally friendly shoppers out there, shopping locally does indeed help the environment. Staying local will help decrease pollution through transportation emissions. Never thought of that, did ya? Plus think of the savings on gas. The days of $2 per gallon gas are over, and we need to be cognizant of where we are spending our travel dollars. That savings can then be spent on the item you want to buy; not spent on items you need to buy.

One more thing to remember when we think about buying locally: support your friends and neighbors. To them their business is not "small business." To them their business is big business, their livelihood. Let's help our friends and neighbors of our community. Not only are you supporting them but you are enhancing your community's well-being.

Community enhancement draws in entrepreneurs, skilled workers and other business. This can be done by thinking locally and shopping locally.

Brian S. Gerau is the executive director of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce.

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