By Tim Huether
At least once a year I like to push the shop local message and the holiday season is obviously the best time to remind everyone of the benefits of shopping local because of the increased sales in November and December.
I think we all realize not every single service or item is available in our area, but when you start looking around, you can buy just about anything in Bennett County.
The Booster has the Great Gift Giveaway promotion through the Christmas season each year and many leading area businesses participate by donating money and gifts to make it more exciting and affordable to shop our stores. We draw several winners from the signup slips at the participating stores and the winners are given Martin Area Chamber certificates to spend in the area.
Everyone is smart enough to know that spending money locally gets turned over about seven times again and that every dollar you spend helps bring back sales tax revenue that benefits our community, so I won’t go into great detail on that.
I want to point out that most all of the stores in the area get donation requests many, many times each year for everything from sporting events to families suffering a tragedy, and that comes right out of their pocket. I hear people say, “well, they can just right it off as a tax deduction.” You are right, they can claim it as an expense, but it still costs them money and time, and you don’t get a letter from the IRS saying, here’s the money back you gave out. I think many of the businesses don’t bother with the tax deduction because they gave an item from their store.
To me, this is a good time of year to reward the area businesses for their generosity all year around by making an effort to do more of your shopping local this year than you planned.
We will be pushing the shop local theme all through Christmas and will be doing a couple of feature stories on how local businesses have helped local organizations or events. If you have had the fortune of receiving help for your event or organization and would like to tell your story big or small, let us know at the Booster and we will include you in one of our stories.