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Southport Chamber pushes 'buy local' campaign

READ MORE: Southport Chamber pushes 'buy local' campaign
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Locally-owned businesses help make communities unique, but we often choose to shop at big box stores because of good selection and lower prices. We may be saving time and money, but we may also be hurting local entrepreneurs.

The Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce is trying to change that by jumping on board an international initiative to save local businesses. It's called the 3/50 project. The concept is simple: Pick three independently owned businesses you'd miss if they closed and spend a combined total of $50 a month at those stores on items you would ordinarily buy at a major corporation.

Organizers cite a Civil Economics study that says for every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenses. If you spend that at a national chain, only $43 stays in the local economy.

"The local mom and pops really are the backbone of America," Karen Sphar of the Southport/Oak Island Chamber of Commerce said. "And that's what we're asking you to do is support the backbone of our industry and our economy."

According to a 2007 study by the US Department of Commerce, 99.7 percent of all employer firms are small businesses.

The project was started a year ago by an independent retailer from Minnesota who was having a tough time getting business. She's not telling people to stop shopping at "big box" stores. She's just asking people to balance their spending with the big guys and the little guys.

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Shop Southport

I applaud the Chamber for joining this initiative. We can make a difference. Most shops in Southport offer good value, quality and a uniqueness that you can’t find at Wal Mart. If you haven’t shopped in Southport for a while give it a try.

too late chamber

I DO NOT APPLAUD THE CHAMBER FOR JOINING WAY TOO TOO LATE. THEY CAN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE , IT IS WAY TOO TOO LATE TO SAVE SOUTHPORT'S OVERPRICED SHOPS.

Understanding it's better late than never....

I'm glad the chamber has put this into play locally....they are not asking people who do not want to shop in their local stores to do so, they are asking current shoppers in the town to give extra support to any store that they WOULD NOT WANT TO CLOSE.(Those are generally speaking the ones they shop in already!) The negative comments are obviously those of people who don't care if these stores close, they do not shop in them anyway... and would not miss them.... and that is their choice.
But, do not misunderstand what the movement is really about. After all the chips are dealt in a recession - some stores will close, and others (even small ones) will be stronger than when it started - this movement is about keeping the ones YOU want to be the strong ones!

Southport

I am a business that is closing in downtown Southport. I think the chamber as well as the community are doing to little and it is to late for many of us. I hope you all enjoy your penny candy and cheap toys from china!

DOWNTOWN SOUTHPORT

YOU ARE RIGHT THE CHAMBER AND THE TOWN POLITICIANS ARE DOING TOO LITTLE AND NOTHING AT ALL. IT IS TOO LATE TO SAVE THAT OVERPRICED TOWN AND THEY ARE GOING TO GET WHAT THEY EARNED --- NOTHING ---.I STOPPED BUYING THERE YEARS AGO DUE TO THE VERY HIGH PRICES. VOTING ALL THE LOCAL POLITICIANS OUT OF OFFICE CAN BE A GOOD WAY OF GETTING BACK !!!!!
SEE YOU AT WAL-MART

Sorry! It's not that simple.

"Organizers cite a Civil Economics study that says for every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenses. If you spend that at a national chain, only $43 stays in the local economy."

That would only apply IF every item you bought at the small, local store was priced exactly the same as at the big-box store. We all know, however, that's NOT usually the case. The big-box stores almost always undercut the local merchant's price because of bulk purchasing and volume sales.

So you also have to factor in your savings (in this case, how much more you got for your $100) and add that to what is staying in the local economy, because YOU are a part of the local economy.

That's the side of big-box stores that can't be denied - they provide Americans with billions of dollars of disposable income every year through the savings that they provide. Tens of millions of Americans see their standard of living improve because their dollar goes further.

Does that negatively impact small merchants? Of course! That's the trade off - tens of millions benefit while tens of thousands suffer. It's unfortunate, but time marches on. Wagon makers and farriers cursed Henry Ford, but it served no purpose.

America has changed and will continue to change. That clock will never move backward. Unless your business serves a necessary niche that can't be adequately served by big-box stores or Internet merchants, you are slipping into obsolescence as you read this.

I know that that angers many of you, but denying it is simply shovelling sand against the tide.

local business support "GOOD LUCK"

the main problem is the people of that area , all they want is wal-mart and buffet resturants , your idea will never work in such an area