OUR ADVICE: Buy local! Keep Your Dollars Home This Christmas | Editorials

Economists and retail groups are forecasting stronger holiday sales than in previous years. We urge consumers to spend their money wisely and buy local!

Projections for increased vacation spending this year are based on a “huge boost” in consumer spending in the weeks leading up to November and December. The National Retail Federation predicts that holiday sales this year will increase 8.5% and 10.5% from 2020 totals to between $ 843.4 billion and $ 859 billion.

Local purchases are important in Oklahoma, where local governments depend on revenues generated from municipal and county sales taxes to provide essential services. Safe streets, police and fire protection – these are just a few of the services supported by local sales tax collection.

Local shopping – spending money on small local businesses – is an investment in the community and its future. It is an investment that strengthens local economies, creates greater choice, shapes the character of a community and helps the environment.

Studies show that “independent retailers bring in more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors” to local economies. This is the result of the multiplier effect of local spending, as consumers and merchants repeat the exchange of those dollars for new goods and services.

Buying local demonstrates a level of support that gives traders the confidence to deliver products that they know will meet the demands of the local market. Since local traders are often friends or neighbors, the incentive to provide customers with good service is high, which matches their expertise and level of knowledge of the goods they are selling.

The interdependence of consumers and traders produces a camaraderie that makes communities stronger. This unit shapes the character of a community and promotes philanthropic support for successful local businesses.

Small Business Saturday, which follows Black Friday after Thanksgiving, was founded in 2010 by American Express to help strengthen local economies that were rocked by a global financial collapse in 2008. It has evolved over the past decade to become a Shop Small Movement.

The movement has been inadvertently bolstered over the past 19 months by a global pandemic that has kept people close to home. Recent reports on municipal sales tax revenue seem to show that residents continue to support local merchants – we hope this trend continues into the holiday season, the new year and beyond.

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