Makalia Records, who has served as executive director of the Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce for nearly five years, weighs in on shopping locally.
Chesapeake Bank: Why do you think shopping local is important?
Records: I can think of a handful of reasons:
- Locally owned businesses build strong communities by working together towards a common goal. Relationships are built and these members contribute to local causes.
- Keeping dollars in the local economy recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy. Local businesses are more likely to purchase from other local businesses. This impact results in the local tax base growing.
- Entrepreneurship ignites Americans’ economic innovation and prosperity while helping the middle class into better paying jobs.
- Business owners select products based on their own interests and the needs of local customers and create more choices for local customers. They offer unique options because they provide products and services from local artisans and craftsmen.
- Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live, work and play within their own community.
- Creates local jobs, cutting back on commuting times and benefits the families. You don’t have to shop local all the time to make an impact in your community. Just remember getting in the mindset of shopping and doing business locally will improve your community two-fold.
Chesapeake Bank: What kind of impact has the Shop Local initiative had in the Gloucester community?
Records: The impact has been measurable. We know when “The Buck Stays Here” initiative was introduced with the first Shop Local Day event in September 2012, 45 businesses in Gloucester participated; double that amount are participating now.
Chesapeake Bank: Do you think it has helped generate more awareness and support for local businesses?
Records: It has definitely created awareness for local patrons and business owners. As a Chamber, we know it has directly impacted the community. As Chesapeake Bank has gained new customers, we have gained new members. We believe 100 percent that achievements can be made in a partnership far easier than going at a project alone. We are so gracious to Chesapeake Bank for allowing us to work with them and local business owners in making the importance of “shopping local” a priority!