The holidays are over, and the power shopping is done. We now return to some semblance of normalcy. A little haggard, a little poorer, a little calmer. Many of us logged painful hours in those huge department and discount stores, looking for bargains. But did you know that shopping right here in our towns can provide the greatest benefits to the community, and to you? How, you ask? By Keeping It Local, Keeping It Real !
Consider this . . . . according to a recent study by “Civic Economics,” locally-owned, independent businesses return about 52% of all revenues back to their own community. Meanwhile, national chain stores return an average of only 14% to the communities in which they operate. Likewise, local, independent restaurants return about 79% of all revenues back to their community. National restaurant chains return an average of 30%. That’s quite a difference!!!
There’s more. Local, independent restaurants often rely heavily on local suppliers and local food sources. National chains, not surprisingly, tend to be more concerned with profits for shareholders, which drives their decisions and their purchasing. So by patronizing your neighborhood eateries, you are patronizing local suppliers, as well.
And then there’s the more obvious and immediate benefits of keeping it local. Can you hear the old “Cheers” theme song in your head? Sometimes you DO want to be where everyone knows your name! There’s a personalization factor to dining out locally that simply can’t be imitated in a large chain restaurant. And there’s something very endearing about returning to a neighborhood store and being remembered, perhaps even having the salesperson point out things they know you would like, because they know you and they CAN. Or ordering something specific and customized, not travelling or dealing with traffic, and not traversing a 3 mile long parking lot from car to store. There’s an awful lot to be said for true convenience.
As with pretty much everything in life, what you can take away depends upon what you put in. The more we invest in our own community, the more our community pays us back. Whether it is in a large way or the smallest of ways, it pays to keep commerce within our community. Goodness knows, there is PLENTY to choose from right here in our beautiful towns!!! So shop and eat Cranford…. and Westfield… And Clark…. and SP…(you get the message!!) Remember our motto: Keeping It Local, Keeping It Real !!!