For shopping, choose Shelby County

When it gets right down to it, we can make a difference in our local economy when we choose to shop local this holiday season.

Ho-ho-hold it. What can we do and why does it matter? Here are some tips that might help answer these questions.

Money spent local stays local. By shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city and county services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development.

Local businesses contribute to the community. Studies show that 91 percent of local business owners contribute to their community, including schools, nonprofits and community groups, by volunteering and making donations.

Research shows that small business owners compete by focusing on customer service and quality goods.

Local business employees take the time to get to know their customers. Local shops create distinctive shopping experiences and respond more quickly to the need of local customers. They offer unique sales and hosts open houses providing refreshments, and good cheer. Bring in your list and your local retailer will gladly assist you in meeting your needs.

Supporting local business supports your neighbors. Local businesses are generally owned by people who live locally and are part of our community.

Shopping local saves you money. Choosing to shop locally first saves you gas and travel time, which equates to money saved.

Local entrepreneurship fosters economic innovation and prosperity. The success of locally owned, independent businesses provide real-life inspiration to our young people, proving that they can stay in Shelby County and prosper on their own terms.

In an increasingly standardized world, it is important to support what is unique and special about our communities.

The support, retention and expansion of our local businesses will only enhance our overall economic future of our communities.