Spending locally saves more than money

Published 1:49 pm Thursday, May 9, 2019

Everyone likes a bargain. Saving a few dollars can make you feel good for a day or two. “Saving” a community can provide a lift for an entire lifetime.

Maybe that is a little hyperbolic, but it is an accurate analogy when it comes to how important it is to spend money as close to home as possible, in the stores and businesses run by your fellow taxpayers and neighbors.

Many Lincoln County residents have or will soon receive income tax returns from the federal government. This will provide an influx of tens of thousands of dollars that many consumers often spend a little more freely.

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It also prompts The Interior Journal to ask a simple question to consumers: Whose economy do you want to support?

Nearly two-thirds of our nation’s economic activity comes directly from consumer spending, and that same concept applies to the local level.

Of course, it is impossible to get every product or service without leaving our community, but focused efforts can make a significant impact.

Fill up your tank here and it is Lincoln County roads that benefit from the gas tax. Shop downtown and a percentage of that sales tax goes back to the county.

It is impossible to truly measure the exact impact but the data that exists is pretty impressive.

Studies show that every dollar spent in a local business is rolled over and put back into the local economy between five and 14 times.

The concept is loosely based on the sociological idea of six degrees of separation; a theory that basically says everyone and everything in the world is connected.

Maybe a local consumer decides to visit his neighborhood hardware store to buy some home improvement goods. Some of the dollars spent will go to a local trucker that hauls goods to and from the store.

But that trucker has to get his insurance somewhere and let’s say he uses the agent who lives down the street.

Let’s suppose that the agent employs at least one local resident who essentially gets paid with that original dollar spent.

On the way home from work, they stop at the grocery store, which is locally owned and employs many local people.

The chain goes on and on, touching the lives of countless people.

The goal is to help all involved and make sure that it is our economy that sees the benefit from this injection of money.

You cannot put a price on investing in your community. It is truly priceless.

Saving a dollar or two doesn’t even compare to making a difference in the lives of your friends, neighbors and loved ones.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Interior Journal. He can be reached at (859) 759-0095 or by email at mike.caldwell@theinteriorjournal.com.