This week begins the holiday season for many of us. It also starts the chaotic rush of list making, shopping and shipping. By all reports, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be bigger than ever. But on Saturday, we all have an opportunity to support our local businesses and our community.
For the third consecutive year, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with American Express and others to encourage the community to support our local businesses.
Celebrate the local character of our retailers. In a world that is increasingly mass produced and packaged, there are a number of options for consumers to find something unique and personal within our community. By supporting these businesses, you are helping to preserve their distinctive character.
For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 of additional economic activity is generated through additional spending cycles. According to a Civic Economics’ study of Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood, this activity is in addition to wages and local taxes. Businesses tend to use local services such as marketing, accounting, and consulting firms. They get their supplies — such as paper, signage, and products — from fellow local businesses.
These businesses build strong communities that link us with our neighbors. They contribute to the causes and societal needs of our community.
In addition, when supporting our local retailers, restaurants, and service providers, you realize lower taxes. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, a local focus on shopping and dining locally means a more efficient use of land which results in less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services.
More importantly, the Alliance reports that specialty retail — primarily small neighborhood-located businesses — generate a net annual return to municipalities of $326 per 1,000 square feet of store space. Most other businesses in the survey actually cost the taxpayers more than the return on the investment.
Furthermore, according to the City of Aurora and Village of North Aurora, they each receive one percent in gross sales back from the State of Illinois. This money is applied to essential public services such as police, fire and public works. In addition, North Aurora receives $0.50 per $100 general merchandise purchases while Aurora (a home-rule community) receives $1.25 per $100 for road improvements and capital projects.
While supporting our local businesses, we are also reducing our reliance on other taxes. We realize more effective and efficient services.
I encourage you to support the many retailers, restaurants and service providers in our area this shopping season. Keep our tax dollars in the community where they can truly make a difference.
Check out the business directory at AuroraChamber.com and select a couple of local businesses to visit. Choose to do some of your holiday shopping at a local business. Join us on Facebook and let us know what you find.