Opinion Columns & Blogs

Buy local, keep dollars in our own communities

We all make choices. What we choose to do, where we choose to spend our money, has a local impact, whatever we do. We can choose to shop and spend at local businesses, so a share of our money stays local and spreads benefits to our friends and neighbors. Or, we can shop online and send our money away. It will benefit someone we don’t know, someone far, far distant.

We can build our local community, or throw our financial droplet into some distant economic ocean. We know which choice will have the greatest economic benefit for ourselves and our city. We know what our choice should be.

The holiday shopping madness began on Black Friday, and then continued with Small Business Saturday, a promotion started American Express five years ago to offset in a small way the Black Friday chaos and its excessive media coverage.

Several local businesses have taken up the cause of Small Business Saturday. We are drawn to small business, because sometimes the big box stores are too much, because we know the small business owners and their employees and often work in mutual support, because we know how they persevere under trying economic conditions.

Gov. Jay Inslee wrote, in an op-ed promoting Small Business Saturday with Patrick Connor, Washington director of the National Federation of Independent Business:

“The cause: A better economy, longer-than-seasonal employment opportunities and tighter-knit communities – all of which are the bedrock of a vibrant society. And all it takes to accomplish these goals is for each of us to spend more of our money with the small businesses lining the Main Streets of our state.”

When considering a big play online stop to think that the object you desire may be available a short drive away, at a fair price, without shipping fees and complete with excellent customer service and support. Said Inslee and Connor: Washington’s small businesses employ 1.2 million people, more than half the state’s private workforce. Small businesses comprise 98 percent of the employers in the state.

There are endless arguments on how your personal choices can best benefit the local economy, but this is no economic fallacy. Shop local, and help pay your neighbor’s salary.