Why do we preach "Shop Local"?
To say the least, the past two years have been difficult for us all, but for our small businesses, the effects of the pandemic have been detrimental in some cases.
When the pandemic forced us to stay home, many turned to national chains such as Amazon for their shopping and necessities due to their free and expedited shipping offers- something that small businesses could not compete with. Because of this and CDC restrictions, many restaurants and retailers were forced to shut their doors for months on end, and unfortunately, many did not survive. This devastating realization inspired the Shoals Chamber to do our part in helping our local economy any way we can- and thus the inaugural "Keep the Cheer Here" campaign was born.
The Shoals was not alone in launching "Shop Local" initiatives during the 2020 holiday season. In fact, the Alabama Retail Association reported a 12% increase in last year's holiday sales within our great state, partially thanks to shop local campaigns all over the state.
Our hope is to see just as much, if not more, success throughout the 2021 holiday sales for our small businesses! In the Shoals, our "Keep the Cheer Here" efforts are in full swing as we throw "pop-up parties" at businesses from Leighton to Underwood to Tuscumbia! We already know how much The Shoals loves its businesses - we wouldn't exist if you didn't! We are honored to champion on a community that not only shows up, but goes all out for its local businesses, and we know with your help, we will definitely keep the cheer here this holiday shopping season!
Here are 5 reasons to shop local this holiday season
1. When you shop local, your money remains in the local economy
It's no secret that shopping local means your money stays local, but just how much of your money is being put back into your economy? According to Civic Economics, for every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community, whereas for every $100 spent at a national chain, only $43 stays in the community.
2. Better customer service
When you shop local, you're buying from your neighbors, friends, and peers. When you shop with people who you have a personal relationship with, you are almost guaranteed better customer service.
3. Shopping local creates local jobs
Shopping local not only creates jobs at your favorite restaurants and retailers, but your tax dollars are poured back into your very own community, creating jobs for teachers, police officers, firemen, and many other essential positions.
4. It's more convenient
It's so much more convenient and time-effective to shop from local retailers than it is to order from a major company online and have to wait weeks for its arrival- or longer, if your package is stuck on a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean like many are experiencing right now!
5. It promotes entrepreneurship
The Shoals is a very innovative community that has a large focus on entrepreneurship. When you shop local, you're not only supporting entrepreneurs, but you are inspiring and encouraging other entrepreneurs to launch ventures of their own when they see the success of their peers.