Shopping online has probably eliminated more local retail jobs in this country than anything. We all need to understand that in addition to hurting local businesses by shopping online, we hurt our local communities. We hurt ourselves. The sales tax we pay when we buy locally goes to pay for streets and stoplights, for police and fire protection, and for community centers and parks.
A small business owner once put it to me this way, he said "Try calling Amazon.com the next time your house is on fire."
Folks, I can't say it any better than that. This year it's estimated that average Americans will spend about $700 on Christmas presents-too much of it online. When you are doing your Christmas shopping don't forget the small businesses right here in the Heartland. For every $100 that you spend locally, about $68 of that remains in the local economy.
When you buy local you create local jobs. Over the last 10 years small businesses have created 65% of the new jobs in this country. Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't visit the big chains, or pick up the catalog, or shop on-line. I'd be a hypocrite if I did. What I am saying is that local businesses are the heart of every community--and they can only survive if they are supported. These small business owners have invested in our communities and we need to support them. These small shops and stores are essential to growing our economy. Their owners support our local charities, they serve on local boards, and they help us build a better, stronger Heartland. Let's do our best to show our support for them this holiday season.
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