How did you help your community in the past week? Did you help fix up the local parks, tend the flowers around town, or even attend a Fairbury Improvement Group meeting? Well, there’s an easy way to give back to your community: Shopping locally!
To give you a better picture of how much this affects you, imagine going to a local restaurant and spending $50 on food. That $50 might be used to pay for someone’s paycheck or a repair bill from a local contractor. The employee and the contractor can then spend that money at a local shop, and the cycle repeats. In fact, the money might come back to you. Local businesses thrive on this cycle, and everyone can continue to reap the benefits as long as the money is spent locally.
On another note, every time you shop in Fairbury – whether it is for groceries, cleaning products, or farm tools – you pay a 7.25% sales tax. In a recent article, we discussed how 1% of the tax goes directly to improving Livingston County schools. Similarly, 1% is used to improve the Fairbury area, creating a ripple effect. We are using Fairbury as an example. This applies to all of our small communities which are struggling to survive.
Let’s return to your $50 meal at a local restaurant. With the sales tax, you’ll pay an additional $3.63, and $0.50 will go directly to the city’s coffers. It may not seem like much, but you have to take into consideration how many people go to that restaurant every day. Plus, you have to think about how many businesses are in town. That all contributes to the amount of money benefitting our town and our residents.
These funds are used, in part, to make the community a more appealing place to live. All of the repairs, improvements, and additions draw more people to our community. Those visitors then spend money at the local businesses. As a result, the cycle repeats!
“If you locally spent $50 every day for a year, that would mean an extra $18,250 circulating in local businesses,” says Bobbi McKeon, owner of Heart’s Desire. “If just 100 people did that, you’d keep $1.8 million local! It makes me think harder about keeping my shopping local in our SMALL communities.”
What if you and the 100 other people had gone to another restaurant elsewhere? That $1.8 million would have benefitted communities outside of our area, while it could have been invested in our own. Shopping locally causes a ripple effect that can only be beneficial. Therefore, if you have a choice whether you spend money locally or out of the area, think long and hard about what is the better choice! Will your $50 have a rippling effect? Will it be part of the millions of dollars that could be kept to keep our small communities alive?
Send us your stories, ideas, and suggestions by visiting Bobbi McKeon at Heart’s Desire, calling (815) 692-4500, or emailing fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com.