COLUMN: Bucking the trend

Published 5:00 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Our communities are what we make of them — they are a direct reflection of where we put our efforts, time and money. Our actions, or inactions, ultimately determine if this is a place we want to call home. When we shop at a local business, we are doing more than supporting that business, we are supporting our community. 

Did you know that the majority of dollars spent at a small business in our community stays in our community? Studies have shown that for every $100 spent at a locally owned small business, $64 stays in the local economy, creating jobs and expanding the tax base. For every $100 spent at a national chain or franchise store, only $14 remains in the community. That is a domino effect that we should all get behind!

Small Business Saturday is officially a program of American Express. Started in 2010 the idea (a great one, in my opinion) is to shop at a local, independently-owned small businesses on Saturday during the holiday weekend. 

Karl Heck, President and CEO of Franklin Southampton Economic Development recently shared that shopping at local businesses was down in 2020 and 2021 most likely due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. He further stated, “Stay-at-home ordering, easy one-click buys, and free shipping deals stole the holiday shopping thunder in both 2020 and 2021, and unfortunately are now part of the new norm. As a result, sales to small businesses have decreased which has had a significant impact on their ability to remain open or be profitable.”

Let’s buck that trend this year and create our own domino effect by shopping at a small business in our community — on Saturday and on a regular basis. Inside this edition you will find pages of local businesses that provide services and goods you are looking for. Shopping at home means you can take it home today, you can put your hands on it and you get what you see (no unwanted surprises)! 

Best of all shopping at home is good for you, your neighbor and your community.

Betty J. Ramsey is the publisher of The Tidewater News. Her email address is