November 23, 2010
The community wins when you shop local
A little snow is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. “The horse knows the way, to carry the sleigh, through the white and drifted snow…” goes the traditional song, often sung before Thanksgiving.
But more than a little snow can be very hard on local merchants who are depending on the holidays to make up for a slow consumer year — and that is a concern for all who live here.
In 2010, the economic recession and forecasted slow recovery came true, narrowing the scope of reality. For many businesses, treading water came to mean success. But even as business improves, owners of small businesses are still nervous. It’s hard to enjoy the beauty of snow when you know that consumers will be staying home.
But there is a full month before Christmas, plenty of time to make a commitment to shopping locally.
The community wins when you shop with an Issaquah business. The local gift store makes a sale, which allows them to make their payroll and pay taxes to the city. The employees spend their wages at another store, spreading the dollars. The store then orders more supplies, hopefully from another local merchant. A few cents of every sale often are donated back to the community via schools, youth sports and event sponsorships.
The city takes retail tax dollars and applies them to snow removal, park maintenance, recreation programs, road and sidewalk improvements, police and fire protection — all the services we’ve come to expect.
Imagine if many of our local stores closed, limiting the variety of neighborhood shops and services. Imagine the time and extra gas it would take to drive elsewhere for a haircut and manicure, a vacuum cleaner repair, soccer shoes for the kids, a prescription refill.
A city with only limited businesses paints a gloomy picture. But it needn’t come to that. Make a holiday shopping list and then identify where in Issaquah you can buy it. Leave town or shop online only as a last resort.
Shopping locally is the best gift you can give to your community.