Port Aransas: A worthwhile investment
This is for people who value home-owned shops and service companies, restaurants and entertainment venues, and are invested, and engaged, in their communities.
A study, published in September, by the Michigan State University Center for Community and Economic Development in cooperation with the Capital Area Local First, documents the impact that home-owned, independent businesses have on their communities.
It was part of why American Express organized Small Business Saturday, a promotion to encourage people to support locally owned small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The study claims that for every $100 spent at a local, small businesses, $68 returns to the local economy.
The logic is that by buying locally, a community’s employment level can be stabilized and even improve because opportunities may be created for people to work where they live.
Also, dollars spent locally can be re-spent locally, which will raise local economic activity by paying salaries and building the local tax base. The recirculation of money keeps the local economic engine running – by what measure depends upon the percentage of money spent locally.
Money spent locally helps fund local government services through sales tax rebates as well as property taxes. A percentage of every taxable item you buy is returned to the city in which it was purchased. If you can purchase the same item in Port Aransas, that money goes into the Port Aransas city coffers, which in turn comes back to you in the form of improved city services, facilities and programs.
Profits earned by local businesses that are used to purchase goods and services locally also are returned to the community through contributions to local nonprofit organizations.
According to the Michigan State study, “Locally owned businesses contribute more to local charities and fundraisers than do their national counterparts.”
By spending money with local retailers and service companies, we help keep Port Aransas alive and thriving.
One example of that is the scholarships provided by many local businesses to graduating Port Aransas High School seniors. Every local purchase you make helps those businesses to help deserving students continue their educations.
Another example: Every local purchase you make helps local businesses support the Port Aransas Education Foundation, which supplies equipment, continuing education and more that provide support for the teachers and students in the Port Aransas ISD.
These are but two of the many Port Aransas nonprofits that benefit from consumers who spend their money in Port Aransas.
The study also points out that one-of-a-kind businesses help build a community’s character, whereas large, national chains give a community a “homogenized” and less personal personality with less product diversity.
At a chain store, consumers are viewed as statistics. At a local business, customers are individuals with whom shop owners and employees build relationships that result in quality, personal service. Marketing is geared toward local customers the shop owners know, not on a nationwide strategy.
By buying from locally owned businesses, you are helping to create jobs for your friends and neighbors, you are contributing to the city’s infrastructure, and you are making an investment in your community, both financially and socially.
To my way of thinking, Port Aransas is worth it.
Mary Henkel Judson is editor and copublisher of the South Jetty. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, (361) 749-5131 or