|As you begin shelling out dollars for gifts, think about spending that money at a locally owned business.
Sure, shopping in big box stores and online can mean more bang for your buck, but shopping locally increases that bang tenfold.
“Of course (the money) stays local, it stays here,” said Kathleen Herzog, director of Main Street, Murfreesboro’s downtown revitalization program.
When dollars are spent at large chain stores, the local community reaps the sales tax benefits, but the profits go towards shareholders and high level executives who live elsewhere. Locally owned businesses are employed, managed and owned by local residents who will, in turn, spend their money here.
“We need to preserve the independent businessman, for one thing. That just makes the most sense. They do give you special treatment. They’re specialty shops for a reason – they treat you special all the time, especially the holidays.”
Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local said that going local does not mean walling off the outside world.
“It means nurturing locally owned businesses, which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local customers,” he said. “It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on import. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.”
Holiday open houses will begin this Friday and Saturday at some shops downtown, but a majority of them will participate in a collective open house weekend next Friday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 12.
Also beginning next week are carriage rides that will continue each Friday through Dec. 23.