Small Business Saturday: Business owners laud push to support local spending
Nov 25, 2012 (Menafn - Columbus Ledger-Enquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The importance, business owners said, is in keeping as much money as possible in the local economy, deposited in local banks and recirculated in other local businesses, rather than being sent off to corporate coffers.
If you ask Chris Largent, manager and "Lead Hiker Dude" at Outside World Outfitters on Broadway, the advantages of frequenting local retailers works both ways. He said he used to work at a large national sporting goods retailer before going to work at the family-owned company and enjoys offering the level of service a smaller business allows.
"I enjoy being able to share my knowledge with our customers and with our other employees," Largent said. "When I worked at a big box chain, I couldn't do that. I was the only one that had the amount of knowledge in my department and didn't have the time to train the other people in my department."
In north Columbus, Rick McKnight owns and operates the Kiddie Shoppe, a children's clothing and toy store. McKnight says supporting local retailers is a way to support the entire community.
"Everybody pays property tax and everybody collects sales tax and everybody hires people. But when you spend money locally, it tends to turn over more in the community," McKnight said. "When you spend money at Target, they might have a depository account with Columbus Bank and Trust, but that cash gets swept out every night. But my deposits tend to sit there, so the bank can use them to extend capital to other people."
McKnight cited the 3/50 Project, a national movement to encourage support of locally owned businesses. The project's name comes from its promoting people to choose three local companies and spend 50 a month in each. The project's website said if half the population would do that, it would produce 42.6 billion in revenue.
In addition to that, for every dollar spent locally, 63 cents remains in the community in the form of taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Of a dollar spent at a national chain, only 43 cents remains and if you spend a dollar online, the entire dollar leaves the local economy, according to the project's website.
Back on Broadway, Byron Thornton, mechanic and co-owner of Ride On Bikes, said a rider might get a bike cheaper online or at a big box store, but he won't get the advantages of a proper fitting, expert set up and a locally honored warranty.
"Shopping online may be cheaper up front, but in the long run they might be spending more money," Thornton said while working on a repair in the store's busy work area. "If you buy your bike online, I can't help you with your warranty."
Jason McKenzie, also co-owner of the bike shop, said they send workers to classes to learn to set up, fit and repair the kind of high performance bikes they specialize in, which provides a level of service unavailable at non-speciality stores and online.
Down the street, Brother Rosenberg, owner of Brother's General Store, is blunt in his assessment.
"There'd better be more of this or there are going to be less small businesses," Rosenberg said.
___ (c)2012 the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.) Visit the Columbus
Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.) at www.ledger-enquirer.com Distributed by MCT
Copyright (C) 2012, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer