Support Local Businesses This Season

Many of us here at the Tulsa Business Journal committed post-Thanksgiving sacrilege. We did not wake ourselves in the wee morning hours following an all-day turkey gorgefest to break down the doors of the retail stores in search of rock-bottom prices on our holiday accoutrement.
If you did, we’re not judging you.
But we’d like to suggest, as you continue your holiday shopping, buy locally this season.
In researching statistics about the economic impact of buying locally, TBJ found some variances. According to the Tulsa Area Independent Business Alliance, $45 of every $100 spent at a locally owned establishment stays in the local economy. The organization’s Web site says $14 of every $100 spent at a chain establishment stays here, and no amount of money spent online stays.
Another Web site, The 3/50 Project, which urges people to shop at locally owned establishments in their communities, says $68 of every $100 spent locally stays in the local economy, while $43 of every $100 spent at a chain stays and, again, nothing spent online stays.
(The site cites a 2008 Civic Economics study for its numbers. The TAIBA didn’t offer a source.)
While The 3/50 Project’s stats are more promising, essentially, both organizations are saying the same thing: More money spent locally is better.
With the City of Tulsa nearly laying off 18 of its police force and selling 200 of its vehicles and heavy equipment in an effort to reclaim some of its lost sales tax dollars, the best thing you could do for your city right now is patronize local establishments.
We’re not saying that spending all of your rationed holiday dough at local shops will bring the city forth from the throes of financial crisis, but it sure couldn’t hurt.
And, you can consider it practice for the rest of your year-round shopping. The holidays aren’t the only season during which money spent in Tulsa stays in Tulsa. If you’d commit to spending at least half of your disposable income at locally owned stores and restaurants, you’d be supporting local business and ensuring its longevity, which is the most important thing you can do for your economy — and your friends, who own those businesses.
Sure, shopping locally certainly isn’t as convenient as shopping online. And, more often than not, when we shop locally, we end up with distinctive and interesting purchases.
If there’s a CD, toy or article of clothing your loved one wants, we’d be willing to bet all of the tinsel in Tulsa you could find it (or something similar) in a locally owned shop.
When you shop at a chain, shop at one in Tulsa.
Communities everywhere, such as Jenks, Owasso, Broken Arrow and even Dallas, have buy-local programs. Let’s go the extra mile, so to speak, and keep our dollars in Tulsa.

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