NDSU Extension Service - Sargent County

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Hometown Shopping

As a newcomer to the communities in Sargent county, it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to get acquainted with the local businesses and business owners.  Without exception, they’ve been friendly, helpful, and able to provide what I was shopping for. 

Since 2010, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been designated “Small Business Saturday.” It is a day to recognize small businesses and what they bring to a local community, and a day to walk through their doors.  Glenn Muske, Rural and Agribusiness Enterprise Development Specialist with NDSU Extension Service Center for Community Vitality, recently wrote about this and I am sharing his message here.

Providing goods and services is just the beginning of what small businesses offer.  Besides what they stock for merchandise on their shelves, most of them also provide employment.  Equally impressive and important, they generate sales tax revenue that helps support local needs such as roads, parks and emergency services.

Additionally, local businesses stimulate the local economy.  One source estimates that for every $100 spent with local small businesses, $45 to $68 returns to the community.  Another source estimates that every dollar spent within a community gets turned over 2.5 to 3 times.

But wait, there’s more!  Research confirms what casual observation reveals: small-business owners give a lot back to the community in terms of charitable donations, and in terms of being or providing people to work at local community charitable events.  And it’s impossible not to notice the posters you see in their windows or on their display boards that advertise such events.

In addition to all this, we often see the small-business owners serving as local leaders, elected officials, participants in civic and other organizations, and volunteers for community emergency services such as ambulance and fire department. 

The bottom line is this:  our local small businesses are crucial in developing and maintaining many of the aspects that form the ‘quality of life’ in our communities. 

The next time we shop and make purchases locally, let’s take the time to also say “thank you” to the business owners and let them know how much we appreciate what they do for the community and for us as consumers.

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