Tis the Season to Shop!  Online Giant Verses Shopping Local & Why it Matters

By Kathleen Hawkins President and CEO - Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce

The holidays are upon us and the hustle and bustle of the season is near. We all can get excited about the convenience of online shopping and the quick delivery of Amazon products from online in the comfort of your home to your front door. In addition, we are also very thankful the tech giant has recently announced adding 5,000 high paying corporate jobs for Amazon’s new operation Center in Nashville. This will employ people from middle Tennessee and attract new people from outside the area. This will create a big economic impact for middle Tennessee and is a great announcement for our entire State. 

However, we should never forget the importance of remembering the local restaurants, boutiques, and small businesses that help create our community and build our city. 

-      When you buy local, your money stays local and it builds the local economy. Keeping cash in your community is very important. Local sales tax revenues fund our communities. We all want the luxury of your favorite restaurants, but we have to support our business owners year round to keep the cash flowing from business to business in our city. 

-      Plus, shopping local helps create the “feel” of a community. Local business owners, typically volunteer more and sponsor nonprofit events more often. When a customer knows the store owner, the sale becomes more personal. The experience then elevates to a higher level of customer service. When a business is more connected to the community, they fight harder during challenging times. When a community is more connected to the local business, they stand up and support them when they need help. It’s those types of relationships that make a city a place to call home and you cannot build those relationships online. 

Here is how you can help show some small business love this holiday season:

1.    Make a point to shop small this Season! Find a new local treasure.

2.    Thank a local small business owner for all they do for your community.

3.     Encourage others to visit their business too, write a review, capture a photograph of their business or your purchase and share some social media love.

Big tech giants like Amazon are not going away. The online shopping presence is here to stay. However, let’s not forget that it takes a village to build a community. Restaurants will not stay if they do not have the customers to support them. Empty shopping plazas do not create the landscape for a vibrant community. Small business owners build their business from the ground up. They put their heart and soul into their business with the hope they will be embraced by the people who live in their community. This holiday season, we encourage you to share some joy and embrace your local entrepreneurs.

 

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