Invest your dollars in Pike County this shopping season

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 18, 2016

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas downtown, even if the weather doesn’t necessarily feel like it yet.

The downtown Troy shops are lined in lights, Christmas trees are prominently displayed in store windows and the annual Downtown Troy Christmas Open House this weekend will kick off the holiday season.

While residents may be more interested in going to the event because of the festivities, such as arts and crafts for the kids and pictures and buggy rides with Santa, the real value of the event is in the shopping¬ both for residents and the local economy.

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The main purpose of the event according to event organizer Leigh Anne Windham is for residents to come get their Christmas shopping done for the year while enjoying discounts at local shops and eateries.

While the savings and the $500 downtown dollar giveaway are both plenty of motivation to take part in the celebration this weekend, residents may not realize just how much shopping at local businesses helps the local economy.

A 2011 study by the Maine Center for Economic Policy analyzed 28 locally owned retailers and found that for every $100 spent at a local business, $58 was returned to the local economy. It found that only $33 of every $100 spent at a national chain in Portland was returned to the local economy.

“If residents of the region were to shift 10 percent of their spending from chains to locally owned businesses,” the study concludes, “it would generate $127 million in additional local economic activity and 874 new jobs.”

That’s a massive boost to the local economy, and other studies similarly back those statistics up.

So when deciding what to get the special people in your life this Christmas, don’t just think about what’s going into the gift box. Take a moment to think about what’s going back into the community as well.