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Shop Bartow is just good business
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Updated: 09/20/2012 08:01:47AM

Shop Bartow is just good business

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Are you a local? A local, in our opinion, is anyone who is in Bartow right now, whether a full-time resident, snow bird or even temporary visitor.

If you’re a local, it’s good business to do business locally. That may sound simplistic, but it’s one of the most important concepts of supporting the community where you live. If you live or visit here, your dollars will help Bartow thrive, thus helping it continue to be the place you love. Money is like the lifeblood of the community. It needs to flow through town to keep us healthy.

A recently overheard conversation brought this home. A local businessman explained to another why he had declined to be a sponsor for a recent fund raising event. The reason was the event organizers had “saved money” by purchasing supplies on line. Not only were they asking him to donate, but they were effectively taking money from his business. A perfectly acceptable local alternative for the supplies was available and that alternative business was a customer of his.

The event organizers were confused. They thought they were being frugal, when in fact, they actually were helping cash drain out of town. The businessman explained what we all should know.

When you buy in town from an independent, locally owned business, significantly more of your money continues to stay in the community, strengthening the economic base of the community.

Statistics support this. For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home. These statistics come from the 3/50 project (

There are a lot of reasons to do business locally. Local businesses and business owners spend money here, too. They pay employees, they pay taxes, and they purchase goods and services. They support community groups with donations of time and dollars.

Local businesses help reduce environmental impact; it takes less gas to drive around Bartow than it does to go out of town. You generally get better service from an independent retailer, with employees who actually know their product or service. They know many of their customers personally. Try getting that in a big box store! Local businesses choose their own merchandise; they don’t rely on goods chosen by someone in New York and shipped from a warehouse. Local businesses hire your friends and neighbors and keep our community unique.

We live in a small town with limited resources: there’s no way we can be considered self sufficient, but there’s more here than meets the eye. It pays to shop Bartow first. Many of the things you need can be found here. The result can be savings for you, and it’s good for the community.