Be a Job Creator This Holiday Season

Want to do your part to improve Mississippi's economy and jumpstart job growth in the state? Then grab your wallet this week and Buy Local this holiday season.

Yes, it sounds like a slogan. But it means a whole lot more than that. A recent study by Civic Economics in Louisville, Ky., found that only 13 percent of the dollars spent in big-box stores recirculated in that community; the other 87 percent left Louisville, headed for other states and countries.

In contrast, 55.2 percent of the money spent in local retailers recirculated in that community, in the form of profits earned and spent by the business owners, money paid to local suppliers, services contracted from locals (couriers, accountants, attorneys) and charitable giving.

Even better--67 percent of money spent in local restaurants recirculated in the community.

Let's say that of the 500,000 people in the Jackson metropolitan area, each spends $200 on holiday shopping. That's $100 million. If all that money is spent in big-box stores, roughly $13 million would stay in Jackson. If it were all spent locally, over $50 million would recirculate in the community.

Do you think that $37 million might make a difference?

Here's one example--local businesses put money in local banks. Big boxes tend to wire it back to a bank near their headquarters (or a bank they own). Without deposits, banks can't lend. The more we shop with local businesses, the more money there is to support new businesses (and mortgages and car notes).

Forget the "1 percent" on Wall Street. Every dollar you spend this holiday season is a potential job creator. If you spend that dollar in Kroger or Best Buy, then you'll be creating a job wherever Kroger or Best Buy decides to expand next. If you spend it at a McDade's Market or at Cowboy Maloney's, then you'll be creating a job in greater Jackson. (Even if McDade's or Cowboy Maloney's doesn't expand their operations or locations, their dollars in the bank and their spending here on the ground in Mississippi creates jobs in Mississippi.)

Please consider getting out on Small Business Saturday--and throughout the holiday season in small, local shops in your neighborhood, whether that's Fondren, Flowood, Highland Village, Ridgeland, south Jackson, Westland Plaza, Madison or beyond. Check out shiftyourshopping.org/2012/ on the Internet for even more encouragement.

Your neighbors, schools, charities--all of us--will benefit from your decision to be a job creator.

Here's to a prosperous and happy holiday season. Locally!


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