BY: RACHEL WUMKES
Recently, a new group popped up in Facebook Land. You may have seen it and wondered what it was all about. You may have yet to see it, and this is your chance to get on board the local shopping train and Choo-Choo Choose to shop local!
The group is called Shop Local Clear Lake. It is for active members of the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce to promote their products & services. The public is welcome to join the group and engage with all the great businesses we have in the Clear Lake Area!
In a nutshell – a Clear Lake Chamber Member can post in the group about a sale, an upcoming event, anything they’ve got going on, really. The public can peruse the page to check out deals or specials and are encouraged to engage via likes and shares.
This group is a great way for our members to interact with the public, and with each other. Often times, social media posts can get lost in the shuffle, bogged down by the countless ads, and hidden by the algorithms put in place.
It is also a great way for you, the public, to see all that is going on with our Chamber Members, as well as for our members to get their information in front of a few more eyes.
Now, more than ever, I simply cannot stress the importance of shopping local. I thought today I’d share a bit about how the ripple effect spreads through the community when you keep your dollars here instead of buying through big chain stores.
According to a report issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2019, small businesses account for 44 percent of economic activity in the United States. They create two-thirds of new jobs and deliver 43.5 percent of the United States' gross domestic product (GDP).
Small businesses contribute to local economies by bringing growth and innovation to the community in which the business is established. Small businesses also help stimulate economic growth by providing employment opportunities to people who may not be employable by larger corporations.
Independent businesses spend more on local labor, goods procured locally for resale, and services from local providers. This means a much larger share of the money spent at a locally owned store stays in the local economy, supporting a variety of other businesses and jobs.
Okay, so those last three paragraphs are where many people get lost. I can just picture it right now, your eyes are a little glazed over, but you keep reading, because you feel like you should.
So, it’s totally fine to need this explained in simpler terms. Heck, I’m even a small business owner and often need it explained to me!
In a nutshell, the money you spend at local establishments within our community, creates something of a ripple effect. Not only will the business need more help, thus, hiring more employees, but it puts more money in their pockets as well.
Now, the most common argument I hear is “they own their own business, they’ve got plenty of money.” Um, no. That’s not actually a good train of thought unless you’re talking about gigantic corporations like Walmart or Target. When you spend money locally, that business owner may give bonuses or raise wages, or yes, garner more of a profit.
However, all of these things are GREAT because that means they’ll ALL have more money to spend in our local economy! It’s a cycle, people. And a great one, when it’s working the way it should.
And so, as I wrap up this little Economics 101 class for the day, I encourage you to SHOP LOCAL whenever you can. If you’re uncomfortable with crowds – order curbside pickup or delivery. However you do it – it just needs to be done.
And be sure to watch our new group on Facebook SHOP LOCAL CLEAR LAKE to stay up to date with all our awesome Chamber Members!