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OPINION: Support Local Businesses This Holiday Shopping Season

By Will Barclay


There are thousands of small businesses in New York state, and each one is an integral, valued part of the communities they serve. These local establishments drive our state’s economy by offering unique goods and services and they play a critical role providing jobs and tax revenue in support of their local economies. For these reasons, it’s so important we continue to give them the support they need and deserve.

 One way we accomplish that is by celebrating Small Business Saturday, which took place this year on Saturday, Nov. 26. [That day presented] a great opportunity to visit your favorite local shops and start crossing those one-of-a-kind items off your holiday shopping list. Now more than ever, Small Business Saturday took on even more significance as many local businesses are still feeling the impact of supply chain issues, reduced foot traffic, and a slew of other complications derived from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 [Shopping locally] offers a chance for consumers to find unique artisanal, hand-crafted, and locally sourced goods that showcase the incredible workmanship and creativity of local owners. 

Shopping locally not only benefits consumers looking to find creative presents for their loved ones, but it also dramatically boosts local economies. According to information from Independent We Stand — a retail association for independently owned businesses — for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 is returned to the community. That number is much higher than the $43 returned to the community when shopping is done at national chain retailers.

Additionally, Independent We Stand notes that if just half of the employed population in the U.S. spent $50 at locally owned, independent businesses each month, that spending would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. Further, every square foot of local retail space generates $179 in economic activity, compared to $105 for larger chain stores.

 As you go about planning your [holiday] shopping trips, consider some of the local businesses that could use your support. These incredible stores are the backbone of our economy, and they are owned and operated by some of the hardest-working individuals in New York. Supporting them is a great way to show appreciation for what they do, help create a stronger local economy, and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this holiday season.   

William (Will) A. Barclay, 53, Republican, is the New York Assembly minority leader and represents the 120th New York Assembly District, which encompasses all of Oswego County, as well as parts of Jefferson and Cayuga counties.