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Happily Ever After -- the Incredible Impact of Shopping (and Marrying) Local

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  • Written by: Toni Momberger Shoulder to Shoulder Communications
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Your comfort, your health and your personal wealth got a boost this spring -- because of a wedding.

And it wasn’t even yours.

This May, a betrothed couple committed to having an all-Redlands sourced wedding. The jeweler, the invitation printer, the planner, the photographer, the beer, the venue, the dress shop, the stylist, the music, the dinner, the baker and even the person who taught the pet dog to walk down the aisle were local businesses.

Here’s how you benefited.

1. Weddings are costly. The money spent on this one stayed in town.

Of every dollar you spend at a local business, 48 cents stays in the local economy.
Of every dollar you spend at a chain, 14 cents stays.
Of every dollar you spend online, 0 cents benefits Redlands. Zip. Nada.

2. Money spent in a local business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy compared to money spent in corporate chains.

What does that really mean? It equals more funding for libraries, schools, safe and clean water, street paving, sidewalk repair, tree trimming and police and fire departments.

3. Local shops use fewer tax dollars

Local businesses are easier on our roads, sewers and safety services, so they need less repair. That’s why having a greater percentage of local independent businesses keeps your taxes lower.

4. Shopping locally makes you richer

For every dollar a local business gets, the city gets more in taxes -- to spend making Redlands better. The more the city can afford to fix your street and sidewalk, trim your street trees, pick up fronds, clean graffiti and suppress crime, the more your house is worth.

5. Buying locally means that employment levels are more likely to be stable

Small local businesses are the largest employers in America. They create two out of every three new jobs.

6. Supporting local businesses protects the character of Our Town

Independent businesses help give your community charm, and make Redlands a destination for tourist money.

7. Local businesses attract good residents

Business owners and skilled workers are more likely to invest in and live in communities that have one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.

8. Local business owners care about Redlands

Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in our future.

Where do your dollars go?

Money spent in a local business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy compared to money spent in corporate chains.

9. Local businesses give the money back to the community

91% of local business owners contribute to their community -- to schools, non-profits and community groups, by volunteering and by making donations.

Small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events, and teams compared to big businesses.

American Independent Business Alliance

10. Shopping local reduces smog

Small businesses typically use less land, carry more locally-made products, locate closer to residents and create less traffic and air pollution.

11. Taxes, taxes, taxes

The Multiplier Effect means every dollar you spend at a locally owned business gets taxed locally over and over again.
Businesses spends your money at local businesses, and they do too, and it gets taxed every time.

OR your money can be spent at a corporate chain and be taxed once, and leave town.
Or your money can be spent online, and Redlands gets nothing, except more car exhaust in the East Valley.

If every family in the U.S. spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, more than $9.3 billion would be directly returned to community economies.

Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Wittman, for making Redlands a better place in so many ways. May you live happily ever after.

*Toni Momberger is a freelance journalist and co-owner of Shoulder to Shoulder Communications.