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Shop local

Dear Editor:

As the holiday gift-giving season approaches, I’m thankful for our local small businesses.

The fact that small businesses are the core of our local economic system probably does not come as a surprise. While estimates suggest that 90 percent of national businesses are small businesses, in our community, small businesses are even more important.

I believe that small business owners are not only the key to our local economic system, but the owners often play a pivotal role in the overall fabric of the community. They provide support for various community and charitable events; they are members of various civic and charitable organizations and often take a leadership position in our community life. Being good citizens is important to local business success in our small town.

Another benefit small businesses in our community provide is that more local spending stays here recirculating in our local economy. According to one study, by Garrett Martin and Amar Patel, Maine Center for Economic Policy, “…every $100 spent at locally owned businesses contributes an additional $58 to the local economy.  By comparison, $100 spent at a chain store yields just $33 in local economic impact. The study concludes that, if residents of the study region were to shift just 10 percent of their spending from chains to locally owned businesses, it would generate $127 million in additional local economic activity and 874 new jobs.”

What’s more, small businesses already in the community are most likely to be the source of job and tax base growth. According to a study by Donald Walls, 71 percent of the all new jobs are created by those small companies.

We should value and support our small businesses.

Let’s shop local this holiday season. It is a win for us as well as a win for our local businesses.

Muriel Eason

This story was posted on December 2, 2013.