Perspective: A WIS Editorial - Buy Local

Christmas shopping season is in full tilt, and from early indications, it's an upbeat one. That's good news for the economy, but I'd like to encourage you to keep the Christmas Cheer here!  The next time you're looking for a gift or dining out, think local. By supporting locally-owned businesses you can "pay it forward", keeping money in the local economy and keeping local business owners in business...

Recent studies across the country show that, for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the city's tax base-three times the amount generated by a national chain or franchise store. Online shopping may be convenient, but it doesn't compare with the instant gratification of going home with your bag full of goodies and getting to know your local shop owner, sampling their wares, or enjoying their in-store Christmas decorations and music.  Local business owners and employees typically have a high level of expertise and a passion for the products they sell and a greater interest in customer service.

Local businesses employ an array of supporting services in their communities, such as architects, designers, cabinet shops, sign makers and construction contractors. Local businesses use local accountants, insurance brokers, computer consultants, and attorneys to keep things running smoothly. When you do the math, it's easy to understand why it's so important to keep those dollars in the local economy by shopping and eating at locally-owned business.

Local businesses create a sense of place for a community, but they can only survive if they are supported. So remember, pay it forward and keep the Christmas Cheer here… Buy local. Eat local. Be local.

That's my perspective, and I'd love to hear yours.