“Black Fridays”…”Cyber Mondays” – one would think the country is under siege, but it’s the latest lingo for describing the America consumer’s buying patterns. Soon I suppose we’re likely to see Terrific Tuesdays and Super Saturdays join the mix. One thing for certain is the consumer is looking for that special deal. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas Shopping Season as millions of Americans line up as early as 4:00 a.m. to catch the best deals of the year. Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday immediately following Black Friday in the United States, created by companies to persuade people to shop online. The term made its debut in 2005 and has become the biggest online shopping day of the year.
The last couple of years have seen Lake Norman residents cut back on their shopping and our retail stores have certainly felt the pinch. Business and family budgets alike are under immense scrutiny, and are just now seeing improvement as signs of economic recovery are being felt. The last few months have seen many paying down debt but there is optimism among our retailers who are expecting a modest but welcome bump in sales this year.
This year as you hang your stockings with care, the Lake Norman Chamber encourages you to think twice before buying your gifts on the Internet or traveling outside of our region for your shopping. Do your part in helping our local economy! Everyone is still looking at stretching their dollars and finding that special deal. We’re asking that you consider making an impact in your local community which will likely result in you finding that perfect gift while putting a neighbor, friend, or associate back to work.
A consumer advocacy group study conducted by Civics Economics several years ago found that spending $100 at one of the community’s independent businesses created $68 in additional local economic activity, while spending $100 at a chain produced only $43 worth of local impact. On-line purchases create virtually no local impact at all. As you consider whether you should make your purchase online or out of the Lake Norman region consider four advantages to “Buying Local”:
Payroll—Our Lake Norman region owned businesses spend a larger share of their revenue employing our local workforce (29 vs. 23 percent), because they make management functions on-site, rather than at corporate headquarters.
Procurement—Local retailers spend more than twice as much buying goods and services from other local businesses. They bank locally, hire local accountants, attorneys, designers, and other professionals; advertise in local media; and in some cases, purchase inventory from local firms.
Profits—Because our local owners live in the Lake Norman region, a larger portion of the store’s profits stay within the local economy.
Charitable giving—Local retailers donate more on average to local charities and community organizations than box stores and national chains.
The Chamber is not telling you not to purchase from national chains or big box stores; however, consider the impact that shopping locally and with smaller independent stores make in the community. The concept is a simple one – shop closer to home for more of your purchases, especially this time of year when discretionary spending comes into play. In addition, when you find that local store that treats you right, consider how many purchases you can check off your list, saving you time and making an impact in your local community.
The Lake Norman Chamber encourages you to buy local and Shop Lake Norman. The job that you save by shopping the lake region for goods and services may just be your own!