Tomorrow marks the second annual nationwide Small Business Saturday promotion and we believe local holiday shoppers can do no better than spend their hard-earned money right here in Union County.
The national promotion is aimed at focusing on the benefits of shopping local with small businesses that support our community year-round through contributions to local charities and our tax base. At a time when the economy is creating hardships for businesses and consumers alike, it is important to make sure as much money as possible stays at home.
Consumer spending in the City of Union alone is estimated to be $308.4 million for 2011. Of that amount, $38.6 million is estimated to be spent on food at home with an estimated $16.11 million spent on food away from home. Another $3.73 million will be spent by local consumers on furniture, $4.1 million on pets and a whopping $21 million on apparel.
Union is blessed with local businesses that offer a wide variety of goods and services. We have a number of quality businesses offering a wide selection of gift ideas including automotive products, clothing, floral offerings, furniture, hardware, housewares and sporting goods. These businesses are well-stocked and their products are competitively priced.
A lot of effort has been made by the Union County communities to put us all in the holiday spirit. The City of Union is putting together the finishing touches on holiday decorations that brighten our community. Our downtown is aglow with traditional holiday decorations that would put anyone in the gift-buying mood. Downtown businesses have decorated their windows in the best of the holiday season, inviting shoppers to enjoy their gift-buying experiences. These businesses showcased their shops last week on a chilly evening with an open house. Shop owners all around the city have spruced up their businesses to make them more enticing.
It is important to shop local this year as a down economy has made it difficult for many local retailers. Shopping at home keeps money at home and makes it possible for tax-based entities to continue to offer public services. Revenue from business coffers helps pay the bills for public services and promotes local charities. Local retailers donate hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to non-profit charities, churches and civic organizations. These groups in turn help those in need in our community.
Not all Union businesses are locally owned. Numerous franchise and branch retail outlets exist to offer a wide variety of products. Shopping at these outlets also keeps money at home and, like locally-owned shops, provides jobs for hundreds in our town while contributing to our tax coffers. They also offer the same merchandise as sister outlets outside the county.
This holiday season we urge local consumers to shop locally. Purchase your holiday gifts in our community and spend your dining and entertainment dollars right here. Watch our newspaper for businesses advertising their holiday specials as we offer local businesses affordable ways to market their goods. And support local charitable efforts as groups strive to make Christmas a little better for the less privileged.
It’s important to show your support for small businesses this Saturday. But that support for local entrepreneurs should extend throughout the holiday season and beyond.