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Shopping locally keeps money in town

Bike shop in Laramie
Kent Kanouse
Flickr Creative Commons
A row of small businesses on 1st Street in Laramie

Over $23 billion was spent nationally on Small Business Saturday according to a surveycommissioned by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). This was an 18% increase in spending from last year.

Tony Gagliardi, the Wyoming State Director for the NFIB, said that despite the increase in spending during this year’s Small Business Saturday, the holiday surge isn’t enough for the long term. Independently-run businesses still struggle with supply chain interruptions, finding employees, and other uncertainties.

Gagliardi pointed out that 46% of NFIB members nationally have had job openings that remained open for three to four months or more. 42% of NFIB members reported raising wages, but the ability to fill jobs and raise wages requires that consumers support local businesses.

To help, Gagliardi urged consumers to think of small businesses throughout the year:

“Don’t wait for Small Business Saturday to roll around every year,” he said. “I want to encourage people to shop at their small, local Main Street businesses year-round. Especially now, we are relying on every single day of the year.”

Gagliardi said that about .67 of every dollar spent at a local business remains in the local economy. Only .33 of every dollar remains from money spent at a box store. He added that money spent at local businesses does more than create revenue.

“It’s the small business community that supports the local economy, and in more ways than just revenue. It’s the small businesses, it’s the Main Street associations that sponsor the little league baseball teams and little league soccer teams,” Gagliardi said.

For local businesses to be able to contribute to their communities, businesses need support from their local communities.

And for those who prefer to shop online, Gagliardi pointed out that most local businesses now have an online presence.

Charles' affection for public radio began in the back seat of cars. He remembers listening to Car Talk and This American Life during drives across Wyoming. Little has changed. Charles fell into volunteering as an Assistant Producer for HumaNature while creating a podcast unit for his high school students. The reporters of WPR graciously taught Charles about the production process, which led to his own contributions to WPR programming and a class project that students still enjoy. Charles has an MA in Literature from the University of Wyoming, and he teaches English and coaches wrestling at East High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
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