From the President’s Desk: Support Your Local Economy by Shopping Locally

Support Your Local Economy by Shopping Locally

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy local—and that’s kind of the same.” – Unknown

It’s time for my perennial plea that you remember to purchase from a small, independent, locally owned business this holiday season. Of course, we also encourage you to support your fellow Chamber members, so we’ll be sharing some of their offerings with you over the next few weeks. You can always peruse our online directory or call the Chamber to locate a member offering the product or service you’re looking for.

We don’t need holidays for justification to shop locally, though. Your local economy and its very smallest businesses need your investment all year long. There are many ways to increase your impact, and depending on your choices, that impact can be quite large. For example, did you know:

  • That a locally owned, independent small business owner will reinvest more than three times as much back into the local economy when compared to chain stores?
  • That shopping with local small businesses demonstrates your values: local employment, entrepreneurship, uniqueness, and caring for your neighbor’s business?
  • You increase your chances of enhancing and growing your business to business relationships by investing in other local businesses?
  • Most local business owners are happy to take phone or internet orders, prepare gifts in advance, wrap your gifts, or otherwise make your shopping easier if you’re tight on time?
  • Programs like the Chamber’s CFCU Advantage program connect local businesses offering discounts to you and your employees all year long?
  • Unique gifts ranging from fine foods and beverages, clothing and shoes, electronics, art, massage and spa experiences, golf and sports gear, just about everything handmade, gift certificates and baskets, and so much more are right here in Tompkins County!

If you seek items that a small independent retailer might not have—the next best choice will be the plethora of larger retailers in Ithaca and Tompkins County. Before you leave town to shop, remember that local stores employ lots of your community members. Those jobs are important to us: to help dollars keep circulating, and to ensure that your sales tax dollars are distributed back to your local municipality.

Sales tax receipts from retail and restaurant sales are needed to support our local governments and help keep property tax rates stable. It may seem insignificant at the register, but that 4% has a real impact on our collective bottom line. Ordering from an online retailer may not benefit your local community—and driving out of town certainly won’t—but shopping locally will.

The Chamber is once again participating in Small Business Saturday. We have limited materials for members to use available and will be promoting all participating businesses via our website and social media. Please submit your deals or specials to Dominick Recckio at!  Participate in the fun by posting a photo of you and yours shopping locally on Instagram or Facebook, and tag #shopsmall, #shoplocal, and #tcchambergram when you do!

The importance of making a sincere commitment to spend at least some of your monthly budget, and your holiday budget, with local small businesses cannot be understated. This is where your dollar can have the most impact. Year-end thank you gifts, corporate gifts, and employee recognition options can all be found in our local marketplace. Make a pact to spend at least some of your weekly, monthly, and holiday budgets with local small businesses and artisans—you won’t regret it!