Why is it Important for Us to Shop Locally?

            If $100 was spent at a local business, how much of that $100 do you think would go back into the local community? 25%? 40%?  or 50%? Actually, almost close to 65% to 75% would be recycled back into the local community. Where as if the money was spent at a big chain business then only 30% to 40% would go towards the community. When you walk into a local store here in Athens, Texas, you will see a logo of a heart that says, “Support your Community; Shop Small.” This is a little reminder to us consumers that we need to remember the small guys in our local community not as much as the big industry companies. According to SCORE, a nonprofit resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration, in 2016, at least 90 % of Americans shop at a local business once a week. Imagine the economic growth this would create if Athens citizens made at least one purchase a week at a local business.  By investing in our local businesses today; the more thriving our economy, businesses, and community will be in the future.  

            We as a consumer and a community have the right to help small businesses supply their shops with the items, we would like for them to sell. Shop owners look at their inventory to see what is selling the most and what is not. By doing this, the business will start to contour to the consumers needs and wants. Always give a shop a chance to see what they are selling. If you do not find anything in the store during that time, make a suggestion to a manager or leave it in the comment box. Now also keep in mind that store owners do have the right as well to sell what they want to sell. When we, the consumer, do this it will help shape the dynamic and uniqueness of Athens, Texas. The more interesting and unique our town is, the more attraction there will be for tourist, new neighbors in the neighborhood, or even more entrepreneurs wanting to launch their new business here in Athens.

            Third reasoning as to why we need to shop locally is because this will help create jobs for our community. Due to the increase amount of businesses coming into the Athens area our recent job growth is at 2.4% while the United States growth rate is at 1.6%. According to Bestplaces.net, the future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be at 38% while the US average is going to be 33.5%. By also shopping locally it helps conserve your tax dollars as well. Shopping local will mean less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money to cycle back into the community!

                To give a good representation of a business with these qualities in our opinion is the Athens Thrift Store. With received donations from local people, the Athens Thrift store resells their inventory. After their expenses the business then takes their profits and donates it to local charities. These are just some of the few local charities they give back to in the community: Henderson County Food Pantry, Meals of Kindness, Helping Hands Furniture Ministry and Clothes Closet, Ruby's Safe Haven, Family Peace Project, East Texas Crisis Center, The Disciples Clinic, Henderson County Young Life, Help Center, Meals on Wheels, Athens Soup Kitchen, The Rainbow Room, CASA of Trinity Valley, Lila Lane Outreach, Call to Recovery Iron House, Love in Action-Henderson County Homeless Ministry. Go check out and see all the cool things they have for sale! Right now, they have a Halloween sale going on plus on Halloween they are giving kids and “kids at heart” candy from 9 am to 5:30 PM! Also the Athens Thrift store will be opening up their Christmas store as well this Saturday, November 2nd, 2019. They will be having a celebration for the occasion starting at 9 AM to 3 PM. They will be serving free hotdogs, chips, and drinks, and having selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a decorated Christmas tree and a wreath. Also, kids Santa Clause will be there between 11 AM to 2 PM! Do not miss out on getting a chance to see Santa!

            That wraps up this week’s blog! Remember to stay tuned on our Facebook page for future blogs! Also, we just launched our YouTube channel, the Athens Chamber of Commerce! Go like and Subscribe to our channel! Thank you for reading and have a Happy Halloween everyone!

            “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy local and that is kinda the same thing!”