The holiday shopping season is upon us, which will eventually give way to a cold slap of reality -- that ongoing wintry mix of snow, ice and bitter cold that will eventually lead us into pothole season.
Consider those potholes when making your shopping choices this shopping season.
“Shopping locally fixes the potholes -- remember that,” said Downtown Lincoln President and CEO Todd Ogden, who might have been smiling as he said it last week at a media conference that urged Lincolnites to shop locally this holiday season, but he wasn’t necessarily joking.
The truth is that 67 cents of every dollar spent with a local business stays in Lincoln, says Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird. That nearly doubles the 34 cents that stays here when shopping online or with a national big-box retailer.
The national retailers serve a vital role here, too. They provide jobs and contribute to the tax base. Lincoln has lost too many of the big-box stores in the last year, and the hope is that others will make the choice to come here is 2020.
But small business and local businesses are the backbone to our economy. The merchants providing goods and services are members of the community. Lincoln is their home.
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They aren’t going anywhere. They’re raising their children here. They attend our churches. They are in the stands each Friday night. Just as important, they’re providing jobs to others and spending their profits within the community.
Local businesses tend to buy from other local businesses. That prevents money from leaking out of the community, state or even the nation. Meanwhile, the recirculation of these dollars within Lincoln provides more tax revenue and increases the standard of living by providing the government the funds necessary to meet our needs. One of them is filling those potholes, which, like it or not, will begin to annoy us in the spring.
Small Business Saturday, a national event taking place Nov. 30 on the heels of Black Friday and urges shoppers to spend with local merchants.
Another upcoming shopping event is Haymarket Unwrapped, which will take place Dec. 10 and is being sponsored by the Downtown Lincoln Association and the Lincoln Haymarket Development Corp.
Consider taking part in these events, but don’t limit yourselves to those dates. Lincoln’s local businesses will be open throughout the holiday season -- heck, they operate year-round -- and deserve to be considered a viable option for your shopping dollars.
In addition, don't hesitate in promoting a well-loved, locally owned store’s website, especially to friends and family outside of Lincoln, which brings even more tax dollars into our city.
Shopping locally is one of the best ways to show civic pride. Shopping locally helps to protect the businesses that make Lincoln unique. Shopping locally is also a social activity that can be made more enjoyable by a friendly, familiar face.
Reach the writer at 402-473-7391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @psangimino