Where does your money go?

Published 8:38 am Saturday, November 26, 2016

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


Today is Small Business Saturday, an event designed to raise awareness of the value of shopping small. Not small purchases but rather shopping local retailers and service providers. Shopping local has huge benefits.

Thanksgiving Day is steeped in tradition. One of those traditions is its kickoff of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday is the unofficial first day of holiday shopping. Black Friday got its name in the 60s when bus drivers and police officers coined the phrase to describe clogged streets caused by shoppers in Philadelphia the day after Thanksgiving. Of course, retailers didn’t like the negativity. In the 80s, an alternate explanation emerged. Black Friday is now known as the first day of the year when retailers operate at a profit. Black Friday shoppers cause a surge in sales erasing all the red ink and replacing it with profit margins from the year’s sales. Holiday sales move profits from the red to the black.

Cyber Monday emerged as online shopping grew in popularity. I wonder if it is a coincidence this is the first workday after Thanksgiving for many? Maybe workers returning to their work desk extend their shopping one more day.

Nestled in between is Small Business Saturday.

Shopping small and shopping local go hand in hand. Shopping small and shopping local is an everyday possibility. Shopping small and shopping local is beneficial to you.

Three years ago, The Orange Leader covered a presentation by the Greater Orange and Vidor area Chambers of Commerce. The purpose was to highlight those benefits of shopping local.

A local car dealer, making a presentation at the event, stated Orange County auto purchasers spent $106 million in the prior year on vehicles in somewhere outside Orange County. How would Orange County benefit if those dollars had been spent here?

The buyers would have three car dealers to choose from. I believe most makes and models are available from those choices. Chances are the buyers would be closer to home and follow up service work would be more convenient. It is highly likely the sales representative would be a local resident. Their paycheck would increase and the potential for spending that check locally are high. Those dollars spent can now roll over again.

The car dealer collects taxes with each purchase. Tax dollars are passed on to the city and county agencies responsible for maintaining local infrastructure and providing services. Their employees also receive checks and likely repeat the process described above.

As those dollars roll through the community someone somewhere notices and locates a business here. You see they want in on the action too. When those new businesses open you now have more local choices. You have also contributed to building the economic foundation of Orange County.

County schools benefit from the long-term effects of local folks shopping local. You see as the area progresses; property values increase, property taxes increase, schools receive more funding, schools invest the windfall in their school district, improved schools attract outsiders to the area.

Finally the folks who may benefit the most are non-profits. United Way, Salvation Army, CASA, Red Cross, Orange Christian Services and a host of other groups and organizations all depend on the goodwill and donations from the good folks from Orange County. Many of the local businesses are big supporters of these organizations. I am aware of countless donations that have been made. Often parking lots are turned into the location of the latest fundraiser link sale. Area shop owners set up donation stations for food or toy drives.

The list goes on of potential benefactors.

Shop local, eat local, buy local and know where your money goes.


Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. He can be reached at bobby.tingle@orangeleader.com