Consumers have plenty of choices when it’s time to shop.
But local merchants would prefer if they’d spend a little more time – and money – with them. Every dollar spent with them, they say, means more to the community.
In fact, several studies have shown that when consumers buy goods and services from with locally owned businesses, three times as much money stays in the local economy. And, the studies suggest, more money circulating in the local economy means more jobs.
The Daily Journal, along with several advertisers, is again promoting the “$20 on the 20th” campaign to provide an economic boost to the local economy.
Last year’s event was very successful, said Patti Thompson, owner of Way-Fil Jewelry in Tupelo. And once again, she’s participating in this year’s promotion.
“We had 5-millimeter pearl earrings we sold for $20, which, after boxing and gift-wrapping was right at cost,” she said. “But I was so impressed because it was like Christmas Eve. People were in here with the ad, checking off the items that were in it.”
While Thompson made little or no money off the pearl earrings, the “$20 on the 20th” promotion drove traffic to the store.
“People came in and mentioned they saw the ad … it works,” she said.
Local, independently owned businesses are the lifeblood of any community, other owners say.
Village Green owner Jim Troxler is another business participating in “$20 on the 20th,” and said shopping local should be encouraged throughout the year.
“The biggest thing is to educate the public how important it is to spend their money locally,” he said.
Troxler said that local businesses not only provide jobs, they also usually pay better. And he said small businesses like his pay plenty of taxes that help local and state coffers.
“A lot of people underestimate the economic impact of local businesses.” he said. “But we have more of a trickle-down effect.”
That trickle-down effect includes strong support for community programs and events, Thompson said of locally owned businesses.
“We’re the ones who sponsor school activities and just about anything in town,” she said. “We give back in so many ways.”
Added Troxler, “Local businesses also offer variety. If it’s a chain store, it’s the same thing everywhere. We tend to have different selections that can’t be found in a chain store.”
“Local shopping makes everything go around,” said Byron Fellows, owner of Mid-South Nursery, who added that he also buys locally as much as he can, too.
This year, more than 40 businesses are participating in “$20 on the 20th.”
And at least one shopper is looking forward to spreading a little wealth locally. Coreana Parker said she and her family try to buy local when they can and said any “shop local” campaign is a good idea.
“My family used to have their own business for many years in Alabama, so know what it’s like to have to compete with the ‘big boys,’” she said. “But I think that local stores offer better service most of the time. Sometimes it’s not about the cheapest price, and I think a lot of shoppers, myself included, go to those bigger stores out of habit.”
Check out ideas on spending $20 on the 20th inside the May 20th NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.
NEMS Daily Journal