Thanksgiving came and went on Thursday, turning the calendar to Black Friday, what’s become known as the busiest shopping day of the year. But in the next few weeks, people throughout Clayton and Johnston County will open their wallets, wear out their plastic and spend like no other time of the year. The common catchphrase will be “Shop Local.”
Sounds nice, we agree. But too few will take that advice seriously. They will march off to Raleigh, Wilson, or the outlets in Burlington to make holiday purchases.
But we suggest there are at least two significant reasons to shop locally. The first is jobs. Your friends and neighbors who work in local businesses depend on customers walking through their doors to make purchases at the places they work. It’s not rocket science to figure out that if enough sales don’t happen, your friends and neighbors won’t keep their jobs for long. And if we are going to spend the money anyway, why would we spend it with a stranger in Raleigh, rather than our friend from down the street?
The second argument in favor of shopping locally is one of self-preservation. Our local governments receive sales tax money from the state based, in part, on how much money was actually spent in our town. Money spent in Raleigh or Burlington, sends tax revenue to those cities and keeps it out of the coffers of governments in Clayton. When those towns see that money supply dry up, they make up for it by raising other taxes. That means we pay to support people in Raleigh and Burlington, then turn around and pay more to support our local government services. Why on earth would we do that if given the choice?
So, this year, we hope you’ll take care to spend money locally as much as you can. The impact is far reaching, even if you’re talking about what seems like a small purchase.