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Remember to shop local this year

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us. This week, we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving and after that will be the mad dash to Christmas. While this holiday season may be a little different considering the pandemic, the one consistency will likely be the search for the perfect Christmas gifts for our loved ones.

While ‘bells will be ringing’ across Escambia County, so will cash registers as we open our wallets to celebrate the experience of giving. As we start making our lists and checking it twice, we should all give a little to ourselves by considering what items can be purchased right here at home.
By shopping locally this holiday season we are not only supporting our local businesses, but also supporting our neighbors who are employed at these establishments as well as providing tax dollars that can be used for the public good, such as infrastructure improvements, parks, schools, and so much more.
According to a Civic Economics Study held in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it was determined that when consumers spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in the local economy.
Also supporting local businesses helps those same businesses in their efforts to give back to the community. In 2014, small businesses donated 250 percent more than larger businesses to non-profits and community causes, according to a study by the Seattle Good Business Network.
When we shop locally we create a cycle that benefits businesses, employees, governments, non-profits, and residents.
We are fortunate in Escambia County to have the retail stores that offer so many products — both mainstream and unique. In most cases, there is not much reason to travel miles to larger cities.
While many shoppers will spend their hard-earned cash on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, let’s not forget about Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28 and check out the great deals available from the businesses that are run by people we know personally. In 2019, consumers who participated in Small Business Saturday spent $19.6 billion, a record high, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Those dollars spent have a domino effect felt throughout the community.

As you prepare to hit the stores this shopping season, consider giving your community a gift by shopping local.