Inside the Chamber: Give the Gift that Keeps Giving
Inside the Chamber
According to Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” As a child of the ’80s and ’90s, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” is at the top of my list of all-time favorite movies. I think Ferris is right too. It’s so easy to get caught in the hustle and bustle of daily life that we forget to take a little time to stop and look around. On his day off, Ferris and his friends experienced their community of Chicago. While our Western Colorado community might not have too much in common with the Windy City, we can still draw a parallel to the importance of enjoying what’s in our own backyard.
“Shop Local Garfield County” is a recent effort started by the Garfield County Libraries with the intent of raising awareness of the benefits of shopping locally. It’s now a partnership among municipalities, chambers of commerce, nonprofits, businesses and Garfield County. While the program is relatively new, shoppers will begin to see the red “Shop Local” decal displayed at area businesses. The intent of the program is simply to educate and remind the public about the importance of shopping, eating and enjoying all the wonderful things we have to offer in Garfield County.
Now that Halloween is over and the aisles are transforming to a wonderland of twinkling lights and shiny wrapping paper, the regular hustle and bustle might become more of a sprint pace. So maybe we all need a day off just like Ferris so that we can stop and look around a little. The holidays bring a great opportunity to do so. If you’re a family that gives gifts, why not take a day and experience what we have in our own community? In the process you can check a few things off your list, too. Maybe grab a friend and make a day of it, with a coffee or lunch break, of course. You’ll need your energy, and restaurant gift certificates make excellent gifts. Plus it’s pretty important to do some quality testing to make sure that the food meets your approval before blindly giving a gift certificate, right?
I’m a list person, and I love nothing more than checking items off of my to-do list as quickly and efficiently as possible. Certainly the thought of completing an entire shopping list in a click of a button while drinking coffee and wearing pajamas sounds pretty appealing. However, by doing this, I’d be missing the opportunity to stop and look around in my own amazing community, which is chock full of one-of-a-kind boutiques, galleries with hand-made artwork, bookstores, outdoor stores, candy shops and so much more.
While your list might not magically be completed with the click of a button, your decision to shop locally will essentially become the gift that keeps on giving. The old adage “what goes around comes around” really rings true. Every dollar spent locally will turn over up to seven times in the local economy. Not only does shopping locally support business owners and allow them to create jobs in your local community, but it also means more money is returned to your community through sales tax.
There is a pie chart on the “Shop Garfield County” website that breaks down the distribution of the Garfield County 1 percent sales tax. It illustrates that shopping within Garfield County helps to support the Garfield County Libraries, 911 operations, road and bridge and more. If you are interested in seeing how each of the various municipalities and the State of Colorado utilize tax receipts, links to that information are also available.
By purchasing anything from a book to a car in your community, you will support local business owners, help create jobs, keep the library open and 911 operating and so on. Purchasing regular, every-day items such as groceries, clothing and other household items throughout the year in your own community makes a big difference, too. Hopefully in the process, you will have an enjoyable experience looking around a little bit, too.
For more information, please visit shopgarfieldcounty.com. Also, Small Business Saturday is coming up on Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This is another great way to kick-start the holiday shopping season and support local businesses. For more information about SBS, visit shopsmall.com.
Angie Anderson is the VP of Operations at the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association.
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