To the Editor
This holiday season, as larger corporate and Internet retailers continue to ask consumers to chase discounts on cheaply manufactured products, we invite our community to experience the better total values offered by our locally owned retailers. What sets them apart are quality products, caring people and what they uniquely give back to the community.
Purchasing goods and services from small hometown merchants supports the local economy. Locally owned businesses keep much more of their revenue in the local community, which means better-paying jobs and increasing tax revenues that reduce the tax bill for residential property owners and rents for renters.
Smaller merchants far outpace others in the depth of their experience and knowledge and how much more quickly one can learn about a product vs. questionable and often confusing claims published online. Local merchants can even connect consumers with other local residents who enjoy that product, helping to build our sense of community.
Locally owned businesses almost exclusively support local charities and sponsor local clubs, leagues and teams as compared to online and chain stores. It is local business owners who give back to your favored causes and volunteer thousands of hours of their time to help organize events and fundraising drives.
None of this is possible if small merchants are not rewarded with local consumers’ dollars.
Small Business Saturday has become a day to remember these small merchants, but the reasons for consumers to think of them first during all 365 days of the year are significant. People make the difference, connecting with one another other to meet needs and value relationships. Customers are not just numbers to a local merchant’s business; they are that merchant’s business. The quality of service in locally owned businesses reflects this.
Avoid the Black Friday chaos and Cyber Monday community trade deficit. Before you make the long drive to shop out of town, stand in long lines at the big box store or track the long delivery time from the online seller who will never meet you, please make small businesses and local merchants your first shopping resource.