October is less than a week away. Many of us don’t want to talk about it but the holidays are right around the corner and shopping may be in the back of your mind. According to the National Retail Federation, NRF, holiday retail sales increased 5.5 percent in 2017, exceeding the NRF’s forecast. For those of you that are not ready to talk about the holidays, let’s chat about Halloween. The NRF expects the total spending for Halloween to reach $9 billion this year. Preparing ourselves to be mindful of our spending now could help us make decisions that will support our local businesses and community as a whole. Here are some reasons to shop small and spread the local love!
The Multiplier Effect
The multiplier effect is a term commonly used by economists. Simply put, it is when a particular input causes a larger change in output. In this case, money spent locally circles around the local economy several times, and every dollar going in could have a bigger impact than the dollar itself. According to an article published by Forbes.com, “Multiple studies show that these small businesses reinvest in the local economy at a higher rate than chains do. For every $100 spent at one of these businesses, for example, $68 stays in the community”.
Think about this, spending at a local business could support their reinvestment in a wider range of products and services. More variety could encourage more shopping. What's more, business owners also tend to shop locally. You spend money with one business; they spend with another. Can you see the Multiplier Effect starting? It gets better.
Leaders in Philanthropy
According to a study released by Fidelity Charitable, on average, the median annual charitable donation for entrepreneurs is 50 percent higher than non-entrepreneurs. And Two-thirds of entrepreneurs volunteer two or more hours a month, compared with just more than half of non-entrepreneurs. Also, 59% of entrepreneurs say their business approach influences their giving, and 61% of entrepreneurs want to be personally involved in charities, as opposed to just making financial contributions.
Forreston State Bank know how generous local business can be to charities. As a local bank, we are also committed to the communities we serve. It’s more than just the donations; it’s part of our culture as an organization. Our staff donates their time to 37 different organizations. For these non-profits, there is significant value in the time volunteers contribute. We not only want to give back to our community, but we also hope to make giving contagious. Many people love to support charities that stay within their community. What we may not always think about is how we could be supporting multiple charities by just shopping locally.
Employment opportunities locally begin to develop with thriving businesses. For those of you who would love to see your children or family stay in your community, what employment opportunities will they have? Here’s an interesting fact from bealocalist.org, 14 jobs are created for every $10 million in consumer spending at Amazon. 57 jobs are created for the same amount spent locally. Here’s another interesting fact from them, “Neighborhoods served by a successful independent business gained, on average, 50% more in home values.”
Let’s take this adventure, think outside of the box and find more value and creative ways to support our communities. We’ll explore this topic and more in Part 2 of this series – Spreading The Word, and Part 3 – Commitment & Collaboration.