MY WORD: Think, shop and buy in Shelby County

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By Gary L. Walls

When dollars are spent in Shelby County, they can in turn be invested locally, raising the overall level of economic activity, paying more salaries and building the local tax base. This recirculation of money leads to an increase of economic activity, with the degree of expanse entirely dependent on the percentage of money spent locally.

Buying away from home means lost revenue for local businesses and your tax dollars going to support some other community. I refer to the lost of potential-local retail sales, as “retail leakage.”

The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce has been working diligently to reduce “retail leakage,” which is primarily lost on citizens going to Louisville to purchase Christmas gifts; food; large appliances and even vehicles. Internet sales also contribute to a significant route for “retail leakage.”

While we do not advocate putting a wall up around Shelby County, we just suggest before making purchases to: Think, Shop and Buy in Shelby County.

There are good reasons to Shop Shelby County. They are:

§       Significantly more money recirculates in our Shelby County Community, when purchases are made at local businesses: More money is kept in the community, because local businesses purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing locally helps grow other business profitability; as well it benefits the Shelbyville; Simpsonville and Shelby County tax base(s).

§       Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of our distinctive character: The unique character of Shelby County is what brought us here and/or what will keep us here.

§       Local businesses sell great products at affordable prices: Some people get out of the habit of shopping locally and are then surprised by the range of products available in Shelbyville; Simpsonville and Shelby County.

§       Customer service is better: Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise for better customer service, plus they are our neighbors who spend locally. These businesses survive by their reputation and repeat business, which means you get a higher standard of service

§       Shopping locally helps retain business in our community: People don’t like losing shops and services in our community but don’t equate this with how they spend their money.

§       Competition and diversity leads to more choices: Shopping locally retains our distinctiveness. Independent shops create distinctive shopping experiences and stock different products specific to demand and imagination.

§       Encourages investment in Shelby County: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized global community, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

§       Local stores employ our neighbors, pay taxes that support our schools; infrastructure; park system; improve our roads and contribute to local churches and non-profit groups.

§       Shopping locally saves you time and money: You travel less, saving on time and fuel.

§       PLUS: You do not have to battle the frustration of traffic jams crowded malls and shopping outlets.

Together, when we strengthen our relationships with local businesses, it naturally improves our quality of life in Shelby County

So next time, before you make that small or large purchase, Think, shop, buy in Shelby County!


Gary L. Walls is president of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.