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The Blade – Responding to Survey Results

Let’s sit back for a minute and review a couple things as a result of the survey sponsored by the Fairbury Planning Commission!

Last week we reviewed some of the reasons folks shop online and out of town. All of us enjoy shopping at the mall once in a while or browsing online for something we find interesting. No one needs to think that they should be required to buy everything locally, all the time.

However, let’s consider the impacts to our community if every household in Fairbury would spend more money locally. Let’s assume there are 5,000 households in the Prairie Central area. If each household spent $100/month locally instead of what they now spend out of the area, then an additional $500,000 would be spent here each month – equating to $6,000,000 each year.

Think about it – $6,000,000 into the pockets of our own residents and businesses! This would be huge form of more purchases, improvements, and more jobs.

Also, some of that money would come back to our area in the form of sales taxes. A portion of all sales taxes collected locally go into our local and county coffers. This adds to the revenues of our cities and our county for purposes of public safety, economic development, roadways, etc.

Now, let’s assume each household would spend $250/mo more locally instead of going out of town or shopping online. That would be an additional $1,250,000 per month into the local families/business pockets. Or, $15,000,000 annually!!!

If this would happen, could we possibly expect more local, higher-paying jobs? What about the possibility of the opening of more businesses to generate even more revenue? Wow!

Considering this, are the reasons for shopping out of town (ie: recreational reasons, variety, more options, lower prices, “the experience,” etc.) as important as they once seemed?

“I know there are people who consciously spend locally whenever they can, and we appreciate that very much,” says Bobbi McKeon.

“When I think about it, $100 or $250/mo. would probably be do-able for many households – as we are talking households here, not individuals,” Bobbi says. “Although, as a business owner, I have always believed it was important to shop locally, this little exercise certainly puts things into perspective, and shows how each of us can help out!”

“We welcome input for our weekly articles,” says Bobbi. Please call Bobbi at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com with any ideas or suggestions for interesting topics for our community.