GREENVILLE - Shopping local is an important step in supporting local communities, it keeps money flowing locally and helps the people that are seen in the community day-in and day-out, said Amber Garrett, executive director of Main Street Greenville, an organization who has a mission to revitalize downtown businesses and Greenville through promoting local shopping, especially during the holiday season.
“When you shop local small businesses, you are supporting your friends and neighbors who open businesses in our community. These businesses make our community unique,” Garrett noted. “The independent businesses located in our community give us an identity and are one-of-a-kind based upon the people who own them and their personalities. These businesses help give our community an identity and add character to Greenville.”
More importantly than creating a unique community, shopping local keeps dollars in the community; for every $100 spent at a local business, $45 goes back into the community, Garrett reported. In contrast, Garrett said that the same amount spent at a national chain or franchise keeps only $14 in the community.
“I like to shop local because it benefits my community. If I go to little shops like Cavalier Clothing, Sadie Grace, and several of the coffee shops, portions of that money go out to foundations like Courage for Corynna (research fund through United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation, www.umdf.org),” said one Darke County resident, Cassi Rehmert. “I love the fact that my money is going to help local people and local causes.”
Shopping local also helps foster local job creation, Garrett said that studies show locally owned businesses create more jobs, and in some sectors, provide better wages than national chains. Not only that, local businesses are owned by people who live in the community and have a vested interest in keeping the community vibrant and contribute more than twice as much of their revenue to charitable causes than corporate chains do, Garrett noted.
“Another benefit is the sense of community you receive from the local businesses you frequent. You get to know the owner of the business and even create friendships with them,” Garrett stated. “They can also be places of gathering and social interaction between neighbors.”
Darke County residents are invited to celebrate Small Business Saturday, and can pledge to shop local this holiday season in an effort to preserve small, local businesses, support community members, and give back to their community while bringing joy to their loved ones’ lives with the gifts they can find right in their own back yard (figuratively, of course), Garrett said.
“I like to shop at the stores in my town, like the Christian book store, pretty often, not just at the holidays,” said a Union City resident, Daniele Kaffenberger. “I love it because the people are friendly, and they know who I am.”
Visit downtown Greenville this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to support local businesses and find treasures that big box retailers may not have, Garrett urged. The event will feature drawings for prizes, which will be based on the amount each customer spends and which participating businesses they frequent during the day.
“This event, sponsored by Second National Bank, will highlight the small businesses located in our downtown district and encourage local citizens to shop locally this holiday season and the rest of the year,” Garrett said.