According to the American Research Group it's estimated that the average American family will spend a little more than $800 on Christmas presents this year. Many of you may be on a path to that amount already but before you finish your shopping, I'd like to ask you to think of one thing: don't forget the small businesses right here in the Heartland.
For every $100 that you spend locally, I'm told that about $68 of that remains in the local economy. When you buy local--you create local jobs. Over the last ten years, small businesses have created 65 percent of the new jobs in this country.
Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't visit the big chains, or pick up the catalog, or shop on-line. I'd be a hypocrite if I did. What I am saying is that local businesses are the heart of every community--and a small business can only survive if it is supported. Shopping online has probably eliminated more local retail jobs in this country than anything. We all need to understand that, in addition to hurting local businesses by shopping online, we hurt our local communities. We hurt ourselves.
The "local" sales tax we pay when we buy locally goes to pay for streets and stoplights, for police and fire protection, and for community centers and parks. A small business owner and friend of mine always says it this way,"Try calling Amazon.com the next time your house is on fire."
Folks, I can't say it any better than that. Small business owners have invested in our community--and we need to support them. These small shops and stores are essential to growing our economy. Their owners support our local charities, they serve on local boards, and they help us build a better, stronger community. Let's do our best to show our support this holiday season and do some shopping locally for Christmas.
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