JUDGE: Lifeblood of a community – that’s why you shop local
Those that know my wife and I know that we take shopping local seriously. We strive on a daily basis to shop locally as much as possible and for the last few years we have upped the game on a mission to do all of our holiday shopping locally.
Other than for our three kids who live in London and Seattle, we have been pretty successful. And even those kids get lots of packages shipped from a Milam County zip code.
Shopping local does three things in particular, supports local business owners, helps our friends and neighbors find local jobs, and builds the local economy that helps to increase the tax base and lower the tax rate. That’s why you shop local.
Local business drives the local economy. Every year local folks go out there and open new businesses, continue family businesses, or buy existing businesses with the goal of successfully building and improving their business, and thereby the community.
Last Saturday I went out to watch our Milam County Youth play soccer. I have not coached in the league for a few years now, but it seems like there are twice as many teams as before. And twice as many teams mean twice as many sponsorships and that’s twice as many businesses that have their names on jerseys.
Guess what, they were all local sponsors. I failed to see one big chain store with their names on those jerseys. Local businesses care about our community, these are the businesses that give back to the community. Friday night, flip through that football program and see all the local businesses that support our kids. That’s why you shop local.
Shopping local helps, provides, and keeps local jobs right here for local folks. Local folks who are our friends, our families, and our neighbors. And local folks who add to the local economy. There are a good number of Milam County residents who travel outside the county for work and many times that is due to a lack of local support for local businesses. Yes, I know you can travel and find a myriad of reasons to shop out-of-county, but shopping locally supports local employees as well as local businesses. That’s why you shop local.
All too often I hear the complaints about not having an HEB, or a Home Depot, on, and on, and on, and on... But in reality, those companies will never just come to Milam County because you keep going to them. Why should they come to the people when the people come to them.
Basically, if you are willing to go to them to shop then there is no reason for them to come to you. Every time you leave Milam County to shop for something you can purchase in Milam County they will know. When you swipe that debit or credit card, they read your zip code, and it verifies for them that you’re still willing to travel to do your shopping. Staying home and shopping shows the big chains that you desire the market come to you, not you go to the market. That’s why you shop local.
In reality, there is very little you can’t find right here in Milam County. It might cost a little more or it might not be the exact brand you want, but it’s local and it goes a long way to helping the local economy and producing more sales tax that can help lower the rise in property taxes. This year alone the sales tax raised by shopping local provided an additional $1,000,000 to the tax base. That sort of growth will help keep the tax rate manageable in the years to come. That’s why you shop local.
2023 has been a difficult year for many local businesses. I spoke with one business owner this weekend and he said that this year has been almost as difficult as the COVID year. So, as we begin doing our Christmas shopping this year (which we started this last weekend), I ask you all to take some time, visit our local stores, and see what there is out there. There are good people and wonderful local businesses here in Milam County that need and deserve our support. They are our friends, our family, and OUR COMMUNITY. That’s why you shop local.
Follow us on social media as we make the rounds of Milam County to do our Christmas Shopping.