Look local before you hit the road

Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 18, 2012

Some locals may tell you that Natchez is a tourist town and because of that, the community’s economy lives and dies by the number of tourists coming.

Although that’s partially true, particularly for some businesses that cater almost solely to visitors, such a generalization misses the full truth by a good bit.

Talk to long-time local business owners and managers and most will tell you that locals, in fact, are what keeps them open for business.

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Spending money locally is important. It’s important for local businesses and also important for each of us, too.

Clearly the business owners need the additional revenue that people who shop local put into their cash registers.

In many cases, those businesses also hire local residents that help the economy, too.

But shopping locally benefits each of us in different ways. Taxes paid on goods purchased locally help fuel our community’s government services. So spending locally in a small part helps hire police and fire personnel.

When you spend money out of town, you, in effect, take money from these agencies.

This week kicks off one the busiest shopping weekends all year long. We hope everyone will consider the importance of shopping local first.

We know there are some items that just cannot be found here; we understand and appreciate that reality.

But we’d guess that at least hundreds of thousands of dollars are purchased by local residents out of town or online each year.

Almost certainly much of that could have been purchased here, if consumers made an effort to spend their money where it matters — at home.