Wednesday, February 21, 2024

McNew: “Shopping local” impacts community for years to come

by BIZ Magazine

As distancing guidelines from federal and state officials loosen and more of our economy begins to reopen, now is one of the most critical times to support our local and small businesses. 

For many consumers, staying home or social distancing during the pandemic meant shopping online and cooking at home.  As the economy reopens, and individuals begin to emerge from isolation, we encourage you to consider revisiting your favorite local shop and taking advantage of the dining experiences you missed over the past year.  Most local shops and restaurants are open and ready to serve you. 

For many local businesses, their very existence was put in question by the pandemic. The significant investment of federal stimulus dollars helped many make it through the worst months, but they now need your support to get back on their feet and be able to remain open. 

As you plan your summer, I urge you to make it a point to consider choosing local and shopping small. Before you press that “buy now” button from an online retailer, ask yourself whether there is a local vendor available to you, or at a minimum, a local store where you can pick up that online purchase.  Your patronage and the associated dollars could make the difference for a local business to remain open in the months ahead. 

From niche boutiques to national retailers you’re already familiar with, Shreveport-Bossier has a wealth of local shopping options across a variety of industries. The richness of this variety is due to our investment over the years and especially now, shopping local will make the difference in our ability to keep this impressive mix of retail locations.  

Shopping local also means your tax dollars stay in our community and help improve the quality of life for our neighbors and loved ones. When those dollars stay local, they help fund the health services and education of our future generations and they allow us to be inspired by visiting our local libraries. They provide the funding for police and fire services. Local businesses are the backbone of a successful community, and your patronage is the lifeblood of our local businesses.

As we work together to define what our “new normal” looks like, I want to encourage each of us to commit to make shopping local a part of that new routine. Your support for local business today ensures our community’s future for years to come. 

Brian McNew | 2021 Chairman of the Greater Shreveport Chamber of Commerce