Black Friday Shop Local Survival Kits

Black Friday Shopping Survival Kits

Black Friday Shoppers with their kits, ready to SHOP LOCAL.

By: Alicia Bull

We’ve entered into the month of November and people are preparing for their holiday shopping sprees. The Chamber has participated the last several years in the holiday hype by handing out Shopping Survival Kits the morning of Black Friday. (This year’s date is Friday November 29th) We will be preparing 225 bags of coupons and goodies to hand out this year and we will have a special “Shop Local” theme to the bag. We are asking all local Chamber businesses to create a flyer or coupon for the specials they have going on in their store over the holidays to include in the survival kit. The bags will be filled with goodies and coupons along with random gift cards and special prizes. These bags will then be distributed starting at 4:00am at the Chamber on the 29th of November.

Shopping local for the holiday season is very important. When you buy from a local business you are doing the obvious of helping a local retailer make a profit off of the items purchased. That profit leaves money in the local business persons pocket versus taking it out of town. That local retailer in turn will spend that money which continues the cycle of money in and money out of our local economy. If everyone tries to focus on local shopping then more of the money can be shared right here between all of us.

Shopping local can be seen as one of the best networking opportunities in town. If you take the time to go into a local store and make a purchase you can use it as an opportunity to introduce who you are, where you work, and what service you have to offer them. If a business owner sees you as a loyal local shopper they are in turn going to be more likely to seek your services out. Again, this helps to continue to feed money into our local economy.

Shopping local also has a big picture concept that we often forget about. That big picture is our sales tax. Every time you make a local purchase you pay a sales tax. A percentage of that comes back to our local area. Let me give you an example: Centralia charges an 8% sales tax for retail purchasing. That money is collected throughout the year but then a chunk of that money is given back to Centralia. While each purchase might feel small and insignificant at the time, it adds up. In the last few years sales tax alone has brought over $2,000,000 every year back to the City of Centralia. The city is able to take that money and make it a major contributor to their general budget. Two million dollars feels like a really good reason to shop local first.

Shopping local is a choice. Some things can’t always be purchased here locally but the idea is to think about what you can buy local and to make an effort to support the very people that are often supporting you. It is a gratifying experience to know you are helping our community by simply doing your holiday shopping here. We look forward to sharing our “Black Friday Shop Local Survival Kits” with you and encourage you to always “Shop Local First!”

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