Put your money where your heart is

Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2018

It’s that most wonderful time of the year — almost.

Today is Nov. 1. Halloween is behind us. It follows that most are already looking ahead to holiday shopping, Thanksgiving menus, Christmas decorating, Christmas gifts, Christmas parties, Christmas travel, and not necessarily in that order.

If you’re an organized person, you’ve likely already purchased gifts for your loved ones. They only await the wrapping and shipping part. If you’re not, there are plenty of opportunities to shop, and shop local.

So what’s so important about shopping local? A lot.

Small businesses account for 99.7 percent of all businesses in the U.S., and in between 60 and 80 percent of all new jobs created in the United States each year can be attributed to small businesses, according to the Small Business Administration. Small businesses are hiring our friends, family and neighbors. The money small businesses bring in pays local taxes, is handled by local banks, is used to advertise in local media and to pay employees who are, again, our friends, family and neighbors. And because they are our friends, family and neighbors, small businesses are 250 percent more likely to donate to local nonprofits and community causes.

For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 of it stays in the community. For every $100 spent at a non-local business, only $43 stay here at home.

Shopping with small businesses is an investment in the community, and this community is very proud of how original it is — just ask anyone about the Little Washington versus the Original Washington. Regardless of which side a person comes down on in that debate, in Washington, and Beaufort County as a whole, we celebrate originality, whether that is original artwork by our many artists, handmade crafts found nowhere else, a one-of-kind store that carries local products or a restaurant that sources food grown locally.

“Small businesses are the United States’ economic engine,” Major L. Clark III, acting Chief Counsel of the Small Business Administration said in a press release earlier this year. “They are the key to the states’ ability to grow economic output, entrepreneurship and private sector employment.”

This is true; therefore, small businesses deserve our support. And so do our friends, family and neighbors.

This year, hold true to the Washington’s greatest pride. Be Original — shop small. Shop local.