Friday, November 25, 2011

You Owe it to Yourself to Think Carroll First!

I watch with great interest the growing support for “shop local” campaigns. Most recently, “Small Business Saturday” coming up this weekend is meant to get people thinking about the benefits of buying local. National studies from Civic Economics and other organizations show that for every $100 spent locally, nearly two-thirds stays in your community. Spend another $100 in a national chain, only $42 stays. No dollars are returned to your community when you spend $100 online.

A better thought might be, “Think Carroll First!” regardless of who owns the store. Celebrate the selection and service offered by a Carroll retailer this holiday season, whether owned by your neighbor or staffed by someone who sits near you in church.

Independent and chain stores are complimentary in Carroll. They need each other so that a broad selection is offered here, attracting shoppers from Western Iowa and beyond. While there is no better shopping experience than with an independent retailer, chain and franchise outlets in Carroll provide an important part of the merchandise mix. Family members coming home for the holidays are consistently impressed with all that Carroll has to offer.

Buying local does not mean walling off the outside world. No question there are benefits to getting out of town once in awhile – and purchases are certainly made while we are out of town. But there are few items we do not find locally.

Shopping in Carroll allows independent and chains to contribute to projects and causes that are important to us here. The business community generates millions of dollars in payroll and economic activity. They pay local taxes, providing revenue for local services like fire & police protection, and quality of life amenities we enjoy in Carroll. Charitable contributions to schools, medical services and community causes are only possible when Carroll businesses are supported by local residents and visiting customers.

The Carroll Chamber of Commerce’s “Think Carroll First” campaign is aimed at residents and guests, encouraging them to enjoy all that Carroll has to offer, especially during the Holiday season.  While shopping in Carroll, shoppers from all over the region enjoy great food in our restaurants and activities such as the Festival of Lights at Swan Lake, and concerts by the Carroll Community Chorus and Carroll Area Symphony, and much more.

The selection, service, and even the cost of Holiday shopping in Carroll likely will surprise you. I urge you to take a look at the membership directory at Pick out a store that you have not visited in awhile and get in there! Carroll merchants are stocked with gifts and trained employees who genuinely care about making your shopping experience enjoyable. Save time and money by shopping in Carroll this Holiday season. You will be supporting the businesses that support your community while treating yourself to a most unique shopping experience.