The Norman Transcript

Opinion

December 16, 2012

Make shopping local a priority this holiday season

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Let’s Shop Local!

It’s really simple. It is time to start shopping locally again.

Studies show that for every dollar spent at a locally-owned business, 68 percent stays in the local economy compared to 43 percent spent at a national chain, and 0 percent for internet sales. This can be the difference in having that pothole on your street repaired. Maybe we have one more police officer on patrol. Possibly the fire department can cut their response time with additional help. But there’s more.

Locally-owned businesses support the local economy. They employ a wide variety of support services. They hire employees to help run the business but it goes way beyond that. They hire architects and designers, cabinet shops, sign makers and construction workers. Additionally, opportunities abound for accountants, insurance brokers, IT consultants, attorneys, advertising, and a myriad of support systems. Many of you either are one of these people or know one. It turns out to be a rather symbiotic relationship that we all have.

It is also important to remember that local business owners have most, if not all, of their live savings invested in the business and therefore have a vested interest in the long term health of the community. Local businesses are essential to charitable endeavors in the community. Most businesses support a multitude of projects in the community ranging from school projects to CASA to United Way and more.

The disappearance of local businesses can leave a social and economic void that is palpable and real. The quality of life in the community changes in ways that are hard to measure but it is a real change, and not for the better. We need to keep this community vibrant and diverse. And the best way to do that is really simple.

It is time to start shopping locally again.

MIKE THOMPSON

Norman

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