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Saturday, Dec 27, 2014
The Sun

What goes around comes around when you shop locally

BY DANA DITTMAR
Special Correspondent

Published:

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Shopping, shopping, shopping! ‘Tis the season to pull out the wallet and buy, buy, buy!

It’s as if we’re all hypnotized and programed to grab a cart and fill it to the brim with all kinds of items we wouldn’t purchase any other time of the year. But before you blindly follow the others to the mall, consider why it’s so important to shop locally.

First of all, local stores contribute to more local fundraising efforts. Charity begins at home, right? All I have to do is put out the word a local family needs some extra assistance for the holidays or someone needs money for medical bills, and our local business people beat down the chamber door to give unselfishly. So let’s reward their dedication to the community by patronizing their businesses.

Local businesses also provide a majority of the jobs in the county and are crucial to job retention. The more jobs they provide, the more money is generated for taxes and the less strain is placed on assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid.

Local businesses support other local businesses. We all know that saying about all boats rising together. When we all help each other, it’s a win-win-win. It keeps our local economy chugging right along.

Sun City Center has a very unique lifestyle, and our local businesses reflect this culture. It’s part of what makes us Sun City Center. How many other towns do you know of that have four golf cart shops within walking distance of each other?

Just think about this. You hate paying taxes, right? Well, when you spend locally, all that sales tax goes towards supporting the community and county. It goes to fixing roads, maintaining recreational facilities, funding schools and building infrastructures.

I mean, really. Isn’t our community a whole lot more important than a cheap pair of sunglasses bought on the Internet? We all want a great deal but not at the expense of our wonderful lifestyle!

Plus, shopping local reduces your carbon footprint. You save on gas when you don’t drive 25 miles to the mall or outlet stores. Besides, who wants to get out into all that horrendous traffic?

Local business owners invest in this community and have a vested interest in the future success of this community. If they fail, we all lose. This is their home, too.

Finally, every dollar spent locally is recirculated right here – on average seven times. Seven times! That’s a lot of recirculated cash, which generates sales tax every time it’s recycled through an additional purchase.

So it really is important to keep our dollars right here in southern Hillsborough County. Go grab that cart and fill it to the brim! Just do it at Boggs Jewelers or Pinch-a-Penny or The Seafood Dive or The Alley at SouthShore or…you get the idea.

Dana Dittmar is the executive director of the Sun City Center Chamber of Commerce.

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