It is a wonderful feeling to be a member of a community with so much pride! Residents enjoy annual festivals, attend community events, support local sports and other youth activities as well as volunteer for a number of worth-while organizations. As much as this area grows, the deeply rooted small town values remain. These values are evident in how residents take ownership and show strong civic responsibility.
But what about fiscal responsibility? Some might argue that is the government’s job. The reality is, it is everyone’s responsibility. Every little bit helps. The more community members that make a choice to own that responsibility, the stronger the local economy will become.
The value of a dollar varies depending on where it is spent in the community. A dollar spent in a locally owned business is a better value to the community than the same dollar spent at a national chain located in the same community. The reason for this? Local businesses reinvest in the community. Most ‘big box’ stores have their corporate headquarters outside the city, state or even the country handling accounting, marketing, supply and contractors, etc.; while they are providing local employment on a small scale they do not directly impact other local jobs. On the other hand, ‘Mom and Pop shops’ contract other local organizations to take care of accounting, marketing, supplies, contractors and so on. Making the choice to keep more of your money in the community can mean having a direct impact on the future of the local economy.
At times chains, big-box stores and online shopping can create the illusion of being more cost effective. This is not always the case. Sometimes breaks on sales tax or other fees make it look as if money is being saved. It is true, at purchase there is an instant savings, but at what cost? Avoiding paying a small amount more for the same or like item at a locally owned store can have drastic future repercussions. Outside of sales tax and employment, chain stores have a lesser community impact because the bulk of their cash flow is invested elsewhere. What long term impact does this have?
Small businesses are the backbone of America. They create financial ecosystems in their communities. The local coffee shop, pays employees, hires an accountant, hires a local janitorial service, contracts local advertising, purchases supplies locally etc. The local accountant, janitor, advertiser and supplier do the same thing, thus the economic food chain sustains itself. Introduce a national company who reinvests their money outside our area and that food chain is disrupted. The small business owner struggles to stay afloat in a sea of competition where the consumer is focused on price only. The small business fails, and the community asks “why?”.
It is an undeniable fact that ‘chains’ provide local jobs and carry some items that otherwise might not be found locally. It is recommended, when a purchase from such a retailer is needed, do so in the city or county you call home. At the very least the sales tax and employees benefit, think of it as piece of mind; you are contributing to the funds that keep your streets clean and safe.
Pinal County is home to many locally owned businesses that offer a multitude of goods, services and employment. Attend any area event; team uniforms, sponsorship banners, give-a-ways and volunteers are proof that it is local businesses are the biggest community supporters. Becoming familiar with what the area has to offer is the first step in finding real value and contributing to a healthier local economy.
Playing a part in improving the community is easier than you think. Shifting buying habits to local vendors can improve the availability of jobs, goods, services, entertainment and recreation in the area. The Loop will bring you community updates monthly in order to heighten awareness on this and other related topics.