Shop Local - Why is it important?

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Heading into the holiday season (that appears to have started shortly after Labor Day this year) ads trumpet “Black Friday” deals and big-box stores open not only on Thanksgiving but early Thanksgiving morning. This year, as you plan your shopping list, pause for a moment. What if each dollar you spent not only bought a gift, but also created a new job in our community, supported Chaplaincy, the Homeless ministry, repaired a road, paid the hospital bond, supported the football team? It can, and it’s easy. Simply pledge to buy all your gifts in Downtown Kennewick, with local small businesses. Instead of rushing down to battle traffic and parking and crowds to buy from big box retailers things that are made overseas, stay home. Stay home and shop with your neighbors and give your community a gift.

There are a myraid of studies that have examined the economic impact of shopping locally and shopping small. For each $1 spent in our community, $.52 comes back to us. For each $1 spent with a big box, chain store, only $.14 comes back to the community. If you spend $1 at a local restaurant, the impact is even greater, $.79 comes back versus $.30 with a chain. If you shift 10% of your annual shopping back to local, small business, you could help create more than 100 new jobs and add more than $14 million to the tax base of Benton county.

Think about it this way, the next time your child’s school has a festival or fundraiser, where do most of those donations come from? Local businesses. After you ask local businesses for donations and to buy ads in your programs and yearbooks do you shop with them? Yes, major retail stores in our county do make donations locally but outside corporate donations are limited.

We know that not everything you are looking to buy can be bought locally. That’s understandable. We simply encourage you to “think outside the box” before you head out to the mall or Canal Street to shop.

So this year, let’s all give our community a gift. Shop local, shop small throughout the holiday season and then, make it a habit. That will be the best gift of all for all of us.

Be sure to watch our Shop Kennewick Facebook page for deals though out Downtown Kennewick as we share posts from most of the businesses in the downtown.

Thank you to Now Habersham for supporting the Shop Local cause.

Dan Smith