Opinion: Shop local for the holidays
Tribune Opinion Columnist
Thanksgiving is all about gratitude and recognizing the individuals in your life that bring it meaning and purpose, so I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the people and things I am grateful for this year. First and foremost, I am grateful to have such great co-workers, friends and family, and for the ability to live and work in this beautiful place. I am also grateful for the local businesses that I have the pleasure of working with through the chamber, many of whom I patronize on a regular basis. These businesses provide invaluable services and products to the South Shore community. It is this last bit that I’d like to take the time to expand upon, on this Small Business Saturday.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and supporting these businesses not only directly benefits the owner, but also enhances our local economy. Small business owners are highly likely to utilize other small businesses for services such as accounting, which recirculates those dollars within the community. Employees from all these businesses then take their paychecks and spend a portion of them within the community on services such as oil changes, haircuts and computer repairs. This supports those businesses, all of whom are our friends and neighbors.
As much as we may not like to admit it, we can find ourselves shopping in Carson City or online in lieu of finding similar items at a local business. No matter if it is out of variety of selection or convenience, the Tahoe Basin experiences considerable retail leakage due to these habits. Shopping outside the Basin thus results in fewer sustainable businesses and decreased sales tax, which impacts the funds available for fire, police and roads maintenance. While the chamber team doesn’t believe it is feasible for everyone to be full-time local shoppers, we do believe that all of us if paying attention could change some of our shopping habits. Hence, this is why we are launching our Go Local and Win! campaign, which will reward you for buying locally this holiday season.
Go Local and Win! aptly begins today on Small Business Saturday, and continues through Jan. 1. The concept of Go Local and Win! is simple: shop at local South Shore businesses (Zephyr Cove, Round Hill, Stateline, South Lake Tahoe and Meyers included) and then submit your receipts to http://www.tahoechamber.org every Friday through the aforementioned time period for the chance to win weekly prizes. The following types of purchases are all eligible: grocery, retail, restaurant and even the purchase of a new car. Every week Tahoe Chamber will reward the winner that spent the most during the past week as well as our most frequent shopper. After Jan. 1, we will announce two grand-prize winners. Please visit http://www.tahoechamber.org for more information about this exciting new program and to start submitting your receipts. You could even create a holiday spirited contest at work amongst your co-workers.
Although the official program only runs through the holidays we hope it inspires you year-round to frequent local businesses instead of heading to the valley or shopping online. Small businesses deserve more than one day a year, so let’s give it to them.
With that, I wish you all a happy and safe holiday weekend.
“B” Gorman, J.D., A.C.E. is the president/CEO of the Tahoe Chamber.