Many of us are making decisions right now on what we plan to buy and how much we’ll spend this holiday season. We will also decide where we are going to do our shopping.

Many of us are making decisions right now on what we plan to buy and how much we’ll spend this holiday season. We will also decide where we are going to do our shopping.

The pinch of the economy is certainly going to play into many people’s decisions, but the fact is, your decision of not only what to purchase, but where to purchase, can impact your quality of life and the lives of several thousand local residents. The concept of “shop local” has some very far reaching impacts. 

In Independence, your purchases help make possible police and fire protection, the beautiful parks system we enjoy, street maintenance, and countless other services and facilities that we often take for granted. You also probably have friends or neighbors who either have their own store or work in retail to support their family. When an economic downturn occurs, these are often the individuals who feel the greatest pain.

Retail is the largest individual employment sector in Independence and currently we have just over 10,312 people working in retail related jobs which accounts for almost $280 million dollars in local payroll. That amount trickles down to other retailers and services businesses in the community.

The old adage that a dollar rolls over seven times would account for nearly two billion dollars in economic activity just in our community. The loss of retail jobs has been severe nationwide and we’ve certainly felt that problem. If we experience a poor holiday season for retailers we will likely see the unemployment rate take another jump and we can anticipate the further loss of local retail opportunities that we have come to rely on for goods and services. That also trickles down into potential cuts in services that are funded by retail sales tax revenues.

Independence offers some of the greatest shopping opportunities anywhere in the metro. There isn’t much you can’t find within the borders of the city limits, and there may not be a better time to make your purchases as retailers compete for your business. It truly is a buyer’s market, and you may not find a better time than now to buy that item you’ve had your eye on for the last several months.

Buying local needs to be a conscious effort by all community members.

By doing so, you’ll do your part in making Independence a better place to live and your friends and neighbors will thank you.