As we prepare to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday this week, the Christmas shopping season begins in earnest with a mad rush to buy all those colorful presents we stash under our brightly decorated Christmas trees to surprise our family, friends and loved ones.
This holiday season, we once again challenge each of our newspaper readers — yes, you — to spend at least $100 shopping at home this holiday season. If we all did that it would pump more than $1.8 million into Plumas County’s economy. And that’s based on a conservative average of just two readers per newspaper.
It’s a simple concept that we first introduced four years ago. We also mentioned it last week in the Business Scene column of this newspaper — and that is because it has proven to be worth its weight in gold.
Merchants have told us repeatedly it is very common for shoppers to tell them they were participating in the challenge to help bolster our local economy.
Like we’ve said in the past, the $100 — or whatever extra comfortably fits the family budget — doesn’t necessarily need to be just items from your favorite stores. It could be gift certificates from one of the umpteen local restaurants, beauty salons, massage therapists, auto detailers, gyms, golf courses or other service providers throughout the county.
It doesn’t have to be just presents. You could always spend the money on something more personal. Whether it is getting your nails done for a special party, a dinner out or filling your gas tank for a trip to visit family, there are literally hundreds of ways to spend $100 in Plumas County this holiday season. We challenge you to find the ways that best fit your needs and lifestyle.
Money spent locally has these benefits, to name a few:
Funds recirculate — Significantly more money recirculates in our community when purchases are made locally because these businesses frequently purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing locally helps grow other businesses, as well as our community’s tax base.
New jobs — Most new jobs are provided by local businesses. Small local businesses are collectively the largest employer nationally.
Community investment — Local businesses are owned and/or managed by people who live in this community. They are less likely to leave and are more invested in the community’s future. They are generous when it comes to supporting local school programs, Little League and all the other organizations that make Plumas County such a great place to live and raise a family.
Customer service — Local businesses typically hire and train people to have more specific product expertise, resulting in better customer service. Employees will go above and beyond when they are helping someone they consider a neighbor, not just another customer.
One-of-a-kind character — A growing body of economic research shows, in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
Remember, shopping locally and spending $100 could be the best Christmas present for not only those on your list, but for everyone in Plumas County as well.
Think local first.