- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Features Shopping local helps us all

Small businesses are the heart and soul of the community

Macon County is a great place to shop any day of the year, but with the holidays right around the corner, shopping locally is easier and more important than ever. Maconians should think locally first when planning their holiday shopping trips to get great local deals, unique, one-ofa- kind items, and quality goods that will last long after the new year.

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, local businesses are counting on residents to patronize their stores and put them in the black this holiday season. Think beyond the usual Black Friday deals, and extend your holiday shopping all weekend long to participate in the national movement, Small Business Saturday. You’ll not only boost the economy of your hometown, you’ll also get fabulous merchandise, festive gift wrapping, and concierge service to help you find that perfect gift for everyone on your list. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses. This day, Small Business Saturday, will be held this year on Nov. 24.

Tommy Jenkins, Economic Development Director for Macon County, is helping spread the word by giving businesses posters to promote the event. “We encourage everyone to shop in Macon County for the holidays, especially on Saturday, Nov. 24,” said Jenkins. “Keeping our dollars at home during the holidays gives a boost to the many small business owners throughout the county.”

Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the entire community. One way they do that is by creating more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than some chains do.

Franklin's Main Street is the heart of the local economy, and serves as the identity and culture of Macon County as a whole. Communities that preserve their one-of-akind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage over those that can only offer big businesses. The shops downtown are unique to Franklin and supporting these businesses help preserve the culture and identity of the community.

Located right off the highway, Franklin's downtown often times serves as a bypass for those traveling up from Georgia or those heading south for warmer weather. Having a lively downtown with full shop fronts encourages folks to stop-in and stay a while, which improves the community's bottom line. Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes. With so many events and festivals planned around Main Street, it is crucial to support the shops in order to keep these activities going.

Shopping locally helps out your neighbors. Instead of buying mass manufactured goods that were shipped from overseas, you get excellent customer service from people you know, from people you have grown up with. By supporting these shops, it gives them the means to support community efforts and nonprofits such as CareNet, Toy for Tots, and R.E.A.C.H. Locally owned businesses are far more likely to donate and support local charities than big businesses.

When you are going out this week to get your holiday shopping under way, be encouraged to shop Franklin first. Take a walk on Main Street and see what the stores have to offer. Consider gift certificates to local restaurants and salons, because shopping in the community doesn't just help you check things off your list without the hassle and long commute to the mall, but you’re helping your friends and your family, too.





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published: 10/18/2013
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